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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Reading Workbooks  >  Multiple Skill Levels
The Newspaper: A Living Textbook
By Kathleen Tessero

Kim Holm, the Newspapers in Education program (N.I.E.), coordinator for the Anchorage Daily News, calls the newspaper a living textbook.

"It's the tool that helps integrate the latest world and local news, politics and technology into classrooms. It's the most current and up-to-date source of information. It will never be dated," she says.

Kathleen Tessero

Holm holds periodic workshops at ADN to show people how the paper can be a useful teaching tool. Her workshops are open and free of charge to anyone who wants to attend.

She says her educational exercises, which she gets from various sources associated with N.I.E. around the country, can be practiced anywhere at any time.

"It's something a parent can do with the kids in the morning, or a teacher can use in the classroom. The paper can be carried anywhere. Its unbelievable what you can learn from it," Holm says.

"There's geography on the weather page. There are math and current events. You can take a paragraph and edit it, or, for younger kids, take a headline and make a complete sentence, or pick out verbs, nouns and adjectives."

The Daily News gives 9,000 N.I.E. papers away to schools each day, from as far as the Copper River Delta area to the Kenai Peninsula, even shipping papers to some Bush area schools.

Holm says the newspaper helps students and teachers, including home school teachers, to narrow the gap between school and the real world. One of her main goals is to make sure all the lessons she advocates pull the students back into the paper, forcing them to search through it to find the answer.

She wants to get students as familiar with the paper as possible because, as she says, "it is the only textbook that they will continue to read for the rest of their lives."

NIE, Newspaper in Education, is a cooperative effort between schools and newspapers to promote the use of newspapers as an educational resource. The Newspaper Association of America Foundation is the administrative organization for more than 700 NIE programs in the United States. Check out its Web site and click on "Foundation."

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