A Young Reader Initiative

To create social awareness and good citizenry among children through newspaper reading
"It cultivates critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, clarifies and develops decision-making skills, improves math and problem-solving skills."
"It cultivates critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, clarifies and develops decision-making skills, improves math and problem-solving skills."Flickr [Creative Commons]

Newspaper is an important medium of education and information. For students, the newspaper offers a special attraction. It has been called the living textbook. Developing the habit of reading newspapers from the early stage of life is a significant move.

Research shows that students using the newspaper as an educational resource score more highly on standardised tests, develop the habit of lifelong reading, and are more likely to produce knowledgeable societies.

Using the newspaper as an educational resource helps students to develop a better understanding of their community, state, nation, and the world.

It cultivates critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, clarifies and develops decision-making skills, improves math and problem-solving skills.

This supplementary reading process beyond the prescribed textbook also enables students to acquire knowledge at their convenience and pace. Furthermore, it also develops reading, and writing skills and enhances vocabulary among students.

Besides this, it will stimulate their interest in current events that are happening outside the classroom, and consequently, they will remain updated.

Newspapers in Education (NIE) is a Young Reader Development initiative that involves the use of newspapers in schools for purposes of improving literacy and developing reading culture among children. Our NIE program also aims to create social awareness and good citizenry among children through newspaper reading.

There is a separate fund in schools under the title “School News Fund”. Private schools are charging news funds from the students. But unfortunately, very rare schools are encouraging students to use these newspapers within the school premises.

This particular fund either remains unutilised or the school authorities deviate this fund to other account heads because they don’t consider it as part of the education process.

Different publishing houses associated with daily newspapers include a special page or pages daily or weekly for kids that cater to the needs and aspirations of school-goers, giving special focus on drawing, painting, crosswords, current affairs, questions based on varied subjects, writing short essays and stories.

This platform not only offers opportunities to express their different ideas originating from their inner self but also develop their different faculties.

They learn to give substantive shape to their imaginations. Improve Reading Skills – Students must read the newspaper loud and clear to enhance their reading skills. Reading three-four paragraphs of any news that interests them daily can help in improving their reading skills.

Enhance Knowledge: Newspapers include the latest information about different fields including sports, politics, and business. Reading newspapers regularly helps in enhancing general knowledge and also provides knowledge about current affairs.

Having good knowledge of different subjects gives the students an edge over their peers. Strengthen Vocabulary: Newspaper articles and news write-ups include rich vocabulary.

Students who read the newspaper regularly develop a good vocabulary which helps them in their academics and also comes in handy as they participate in different competitions. Improve Grammar – Reading newspapers regularly is also a good way to improve grammar.

Students who inculcate the habit of reading the newspaper regularly develop a greater understanding of the use of punctuations. They also become skilled at structuring sentences properly. It thus helps in enhancing their writing skills too.

Prepare for Competitive Examination: Reading newspapers regularly also helps in preparing the students for different competitive examinations as these tests mainly assess their general knowledge

In high, and higher secondary schools there are separate spaces for such activities that are available in the form of school libraries, but in Middle and Primary Schools, there is a need to develop reading corners, place a few newspapers there so that a student can go any time there and read the newspaper or at least have a glance on it.

A teacher can encourage students to write a newspaper article of their own for a school or class newspaper. Some students can do interviews. Lower-level students can use photos, charts, pictures, etc., to begin writing descriptive sentences. Parents can also play an important role.

They should encourage their growing kids to buy newspapers. Wide coverage of the information is obtained at a low cost through the newspaper. Why shouldn’t we grab this opportunity?” let us create a knowledgeable society. It enables us to bring socio-political awareness and ensure a better understanding of people about their rights and duties as citizens. Therefore, students must take out some time from their schedule every day to read newspapers owing to the numerous benefits it offers.

Haroon Rashid Bhat is a teacher.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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