Although most schools are closed in July, parents and summer-school teachers can find fresh activities for teaching with the newspaper during the summer on the HSPA Foundation website.
The Indiana Newspaper in Education Foundation and the Indiana State Reading Association still fund the project year-round. Instead of offering new material every week at www.HSPAfoundation.org/UseTheNews, the activities change every other week from mid-June through mid-August.
But newspapers need to remind their communities of the availability of this service.
The Herald (Jasper) regularly runs the Foundation’s teaser ads promoting NIE weekly activities, said Justin Rumbach, managing editor of The Herald and chair of the Indiana NIE Advisory Board.
“We want to point teachers and parents to a great resource available to them for free,” Rumbach said. “Not only do the activities support childhood literacy, they help drive children to the newspaper and teach them that it’s a source of great information.”
The resource offers teachers interesting background material for events in history each week.
HSPA Foundation Director Karen T. Braeckel said she learned a few things herself while scanning the activities for early July.
“History was never my strong suit,” Braeckel said. “Somehow I got through all those classes never realizing Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of Congress’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence.”
Newspapers can find 1×3 and 2×2 filler ads promoting the free educational materials by following the Use the News button at www.HSPAfoundation.org/newspaper-education.
Karisa Campbell, NIE coordinator for Fort Wayne Newspapers, uses social media to share information about the activities and describe how it works.
“I go to the HSPA website and click on the NIE activities page for that week and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click on either the Twitter or Facebook link,” Campbell says. “This will normally prompt you to log in to the site, and it will share the link.”
Other times she directly logs in to Twitter or Facebook.
“I create a message about that week’s activities and copy and paste the HSPA NIE activities web address at the bottom of my post and share,” Campbell says.
Braeckel reminds newspapers that the free resource gives teachers and parents fresh ideas for using both print and e-editions. Even without a designated NIE manager on staff, papers can offer and promote the material through print and digital ads, Twitter and Facebook.
Beginning with the next set of activities, the Indiana Academic Standards will replace the Common Core Standards accompanying each activity.
“I like the idea of presenting our readers with yet another example of how useful the newspaper can be in their daily lives,” Rumbach said.
The HSPA Foundation website also offers 2×4 ads promoting student reading of the newspaper and using the public library during the summer.