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COLUMN: ‘Pet Idol’ is more than a contest

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By Shannon Brock

As you may have noticed, we have quite the contest going on right now. The 2012 Pet Idol contest boasts a total of over $875 in prizes — not to mention you get to see your pretty little pets in the paper each week through Aug. 8. And while we enjoy seeing all of your cute critters, I feel it’s necessary to remind you of the seriousness that fuels this contest.
All money raised during this year’s contest goes toward our Newspapers in Education program, which places newspapers in the classrooms in our schools.
As a youngster growing up in Pineville, a town similar in size and composition to Taylorsville, I wasn’t afforded the luxury of a becoming familiar with a newspaper at an early age. My high school didn’t have a journalism program, and the only mildly comparable class, “yearbook,” was offered during the same time slot as AP Spanish, so I didn’t find my passion until I was already in college.
While we can’t fund a journalism class, we can put journalism into a lot of our everyday classes through the NIE program.
If nothing else, I hope our teachers find value in keeping students up to date on current events.
So, even if you don’t have a cuddly critter to enter this year, consider casting your votes to help support this wonderful program.
The deadline to enter a pet is Aug. 3, and the deadline to cast votes is Aug. 10.
Winners are scheduled to be announced Aug. 15.