COLUMN: Celebrate Newspapers in Education

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By Mallory Bilger

What has a newspaper given you this week? Some useful information about your local government? A weather report, crossword puzzle, or a heartwarming story about triumph over tragedy? Perhaps a newspaper has supplied a great recipe idea or a fun fact about your community. Hopefully it has even helped spur you to action or helped you make a difficult decision about an issue affecting your community.
If a newspaper can give its adult readers all of those things, imagine the learning opportunities it could give a student in our local schools.
You might not know it, but this week the nation is celebrating Newspapers in Education week.  I get so excited thinking about our newspaper being used in Spencer County schools. More than 500 students every week get their hands on a copy of The Spencer Magnet because of sponsors who believe that our local newspaper is a great educational tool. I completely agree. There is a wealth of knowledge in our publication each week that can be utilized in the classroom.
I believe our newspaper offers all of its readers, especially students, information in a format that cannot be obtained anywhere else. Within the pages of The Spencer Magnet are opportunities for students to learn about local government and information about how they, too, can get involved in the political process.
Students can be proud as they flip through the sports pages, which consistently feature local athletes excelling at their chosen sport. Students can learn about the importance of taking a stand on tough issues, and how they can voice their opinions by writing letters to the editor.
And even when all that news has been soaked up, there are still fun cartoons and puzzles for students and adults alike to enjoy.
It is my hope that every child in the Spencer County school district would have the opportunity to get their hands on a Spencer Magnet each week.  
Even if they aren’t seeing it in the classroom, I would encourage parents to read the newspaper with their child each week. What an amazing opportunity to spend time together as a family, educate your child about local issues and to encourage reading!
Would you be interested in supporting the local Newspapers in Education program? Any and all donations are encouraged. The NIE program provides newspapers to teachers to use in their classrooms for half of the normal cost. Sponsors can supply newspapers to a class of 25 students for $261 for the whole year, or for $130.50 for one semester.
To find out more about supporting Newspapers in Education, call 502-477-2239 ext. 27 today to learn about how you can make a difference in a child’s education by supplying them with a copy of The Spencer Magnet.