02 Apr Kid Scoop Client Satisfaction
By: Nicole Schweitzberger, Digital Media Director/NIE-Kid Scoop Director and Jeanette Hopkins, NIE/Kid Scoop Coordinator – Sioux City Journal
It is a privilege to share with others the development of our regional children’s magazine, Kid Scoop News. With the assistance and cooperation from Vicki Whiting, president, editor and founder of Kid Scoop News, and Dan “Patio” Dalton, sales professional at Content that Works, we are off to an incredible beginning. The overall commitment towards enhancing the literacy skills in children is really an easy sell. With passionate leaders in both the educational and business communities, the collective efforts have paid off.
Major sponsorships from the Sioux City Journal and the Northwest Area Educational Agency allowed us to begin to offer classroom subscriptions to all regional teachers. As teachers have had to cut educational magazine subscriptions from their budgets, the idea of a “free” magazine is very attractive. With that in hand, the product itself is one that is of high educational value in the connections to the national common core and the fact that a large part of the magazine is written by local children, for children. Research demonstrates that the more engaged a child is in his/her learning, the greater the likelihood that quality learning will take place. We are offering the teachers a product that will not increase their coursework, but instead enhance the content they are already teaching. Not only does the magazine connect with current core curricula, it offers opportunities for children to submit and publish classroom work completed during content- related lessons.
Kid Scoop News is a powerful tool for connecting multi-disciplinary topics through writing, science, math, art and social studies. When children are represented by their peers in publication there is an increased likelihood of engaged reading. Bottom line-they love seeing their names in print, they love having a purpose for their work, and they love being authentic. They are not “pretending” to be writers, artists, mathematicians, and scientists. They are. To give authenticity to the experience as feature reporters, we give them press badges, reporters’ notebooks, pencils and sticky notes in an official Kid Scoop News tote bag. Kid Scoop News feature reporters are from all of the participating schools; highlights of their schools, communities, and businesses will be published monthly.
As a two-person team, with the assistance of a very creative design group, we’ve been able to create the first issue of our Siouxland Kid Scoop News. We believe it is our passion for and our commitment to the students that have sustained the initial collaboration. Legwork and building relationships have been the best tools for finding commitments from corporations, organizations, and individuals. Mass e-mailings, phone calls and face to face meetings were necessary towards building a better understanding of the philosophy and mission of the project. Call backs and scheduling new meetings will remain on the docket for some time.
Kid Scoop News will generate additional readership and interest through an extensive online presence. Expanding on the print version, we’re featuring website destinations such as (NIESiouxland), Facebook (Facebook.com/NIESiouxland), and a full marketplace page. Sioux City Journal’s Creative Print and Media Director/NIE Director, Nicole Schweitzberger and Rob Kritzer, Online Production Manager spent numerous pro bono hours organizing and designing the sites. Businesses, organizations and individuals will have the option, through various sponsorship levels, for up to 75,000 monthly impressions. Impressions will run through all three sites.
One unique aspect of our program is to have a retired teacher working with students in small groups to “tweak” informational writing skills, presentation skills and oral communication skills. Both members of our team will work extensively with the feature reporters during and after school. The presence of Kid Scoop News staff in schools shows our commitment to literacy development in our communities.
NIE (News in Education) promotes and increases children’s literacy by making available the use of the newspaper in the classroom. The partnerships that can develop with businesses, educational agencies, and parents will benefit not only the students but all of us. Once the final product is in hand, we expect to see an increase in sponsorship and have the ability to generate additional school participation. The first issue of Kid Scoop News will be available Sunday, April 5, through the full circulation of the Sioux City Journal. Currently, student features and classroom projects are already available for viewing at NIESiouxland.com and Facebook.com/NIESiouxland.
Advice….well, as always, a thick skin, light lunch and the ability to see connections. Launching a new magazine in any region is a risky venture, but this one we see as immensely rewarding to the entire community.