The Post-Journal
NIE Program:
 
What is it?

NIE , the acronym for Newspaper in Education, is the name of an educational partnership between The Post-Journal and participating area school systems.  

In this cooperative venture, schools use newspapers to teach a variety of subjects, including history, reading, social science, math, economics, composition, journalism, government and more. The program is designed as a supplemental education program for all grade levels from K through 12.  

To make NIE happen, key people are needed at the schools and the newspaper. At schools, principals, teachers and curriculum supervisors should participate. At the newspaper, managers, marketers, news and editorial staff, delivery personnel and NIE coordinators must become involved. 

 
Although some NIE programs are started by teachers with little help from newspapers, this is not often the case. Successful programs are started by the newspaper, when a point person--most times a NIE coordinator--gets behind the idea and pulls together a plan. This coordinator will also play an important part in keeping the program going at the schools--a critical task if the program is to run on a continuing long term basis.  

The newspaper's circulation department plays one of the most important roles in the success of any NIE program. The efficiency of the distribution system is critical. For an individual subscriber, an undelivered newspaper is an annoyance. For a teacher who has planned the day around use of a classroom set of papers, it's a crisis. 


The Audit Bureau of Circulation has very strict regulations regarding how NIE circulation must be counted and reported. That’s why ABC rules and regulations must be followed if the newspaper is to be able to continue NIE programs in local schools. In the case of The Post-Journal, there is a $0.35 cost to the schools for this program.    

How do teachers get started with their new NIE program? First of all, they contact the Post Journal NIE coordinator, Julie McCarthy, at 716-487-1111 ext. 291. She will help the teacher select a program to fit their classroom needs. She will also provide curriculum guides and other teaching aids to help teachers use the newspaper effectively in their classrooms.

  When teachers sign-up for the NIE program, they have priority status for speakers from the newspaper for their classrooms; workshops for teachers presented by the newspaper and other special events designed to help plan and carry-out classroom activities.  

  Local teachers who have been using the Newspaper in Education program in their classrooms are enthusiastic about the results. Cynthia Hansen, reading specialist at Washington Middle school says: “The Post-Journal has been a wonderful tool and resource for me to teach my students formal writing. The articles in the paper make my lessons relevant and interesting. My students have an easier time understanding the concept of quoting from a source and backing up their comments. I also know my students are reading more because of the fact that they each get their own personal paper each day.” 

Reading Specialist Nancy Ryan from Jamestown High School, in a note to The Post-Journal, said: “Thank you (for the newspapers)! Our students are reading!” 

 Why use the newspaper to teach? Activities involving the newspaper are interdisciplinary, align well with Learning Standards and involve local, national and international news....while its happening! Most important, while students are completing an activity, they are also reading and learning about things they enjoy, and improving their reading skills. 

Over the years research concerning the Newspaper in Education program has shown that- 

  • Newspaper use in school increased students’ awareness of the world and their communities and had a positive effect on attitudes toward school, community and subject matter.
  • Students who used newspapers as a principal source material had better achievement scores in social studies, language arts and mathematics that their matched counterparts, who relied only on textbooks. 
  • In one study, reading skills increased two grade levels for students who used newspapers, compared to those using traditional methods. In another, reading scores were consistently higher for 12-to18-year-olds who used newspapers alone or with textbooks. In some cases, scores increased as much as four grade levels. 
  • Newspaper use seems to improve verbal interactions, student motivation and student behavior.
  • Newspaper use in school tends to promote increased newspaper use at home. 

How teachers use the newspaper in classrooms is their choice. Many have their own ideas on how to use the paper. But the critical point is that the newspaper can be an important motivator for students. And also a strong tool when used to help students read.

Call The Post-Journal NIE Coordinator now at 487-1111 ext. 291 to find out more about this motivational program for your students.

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