A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scholastic Kids Press, formerly Scholastic Kids Press Corps, is a news-focused website featuring stories created by a team of kid reporters from all over the United States. Each year, kids age 10 to 14 are encouraged to apply to become part of the press corps and are selected based on their reporting and writing skills. They submit items on a variety of subjects, ranging from politics to book series to somewhat unexpected topics, such as a look at puppetry in the Czech Republic. In addition to the website, the articles kid reporters write appear in Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which are distributed in schools. Scholastic Kids Press doesn't contain ads from external companies or ones for other Scholastic products and services, and while some of the coverage may mention violent events or topics, the approach is always educational and not gratuitous.
What's it about?
SCHOLASTIC KIDS PRESS visitors can read items from the Kid Reporters' Notebook, a scrolling list of articles by contributors who are 10 to 14 years old. Many are written in first-person. A number involve current events and politics and include photos or a video. Some, such as a post on how comic books are written, focus on learning about a subject. Others touch on trends, like puzzles being popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kids may also see items on topics like environmentalism, art, and state-specific or international issues and events.
Is it any good?
The articles on the site cover select current events in an approachable way because they're written by kids, for kids. Scholastic Kids Press visitors may not get a completely comprehensive view of everything that's going on in the world today, but they can learn about social issues like gender equality and homelessness and check out articles, such as an interview with former first lady Michelle Obama, that are typically an interesting read. Some are written in a traditional news style -- beginning with an update on the latest California wildfire, for example, before offering background information about how wildfires start. Other items are more personal accounts of taking a class, or a reporter connecting with her ancestral heritage by learning about the language the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand traditionally spoke. The reporters' contributions are generally posted at least a few times a week.
The site doesn't offer much interactivity -- most items just involve reading -- and the navigation isn't ideal. New posts are added above previous ones on a long list that starts on the homepage. Currently, items about only two subjects, the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 U.S. election, are compiled under a separate heading. Kids can click over to a Search page to look for articles by keying in a specific term, but there's no easy way to view things by topic. The only way to find out what subjects have been covered is to keep clicking through the 50 pages of articles that have been posted on the site since 2014 -- so kids can't really do much general browsing for things to read on the site. Even if they successfully search for something by keyword, there's no way to filter the results by date to see the latest posts first. But the content, aside from the way it's organized, is commendable. Reporters tackle some in-depth and timely topics, and the effort and enthusiasm they put into each piece is clear. Posts that speak to tweens and teens on a level they can understand could introduce them to new subjects, ways of thinking, and people. Scholastic Kids Press is a great place to chew on bite-sized pieces of current news topics -- and, if kids aspire to be a journalist, to apply for a chance to have their work published, potentially providing valuable hands-on writing experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's important for kids to learn about current events around their neighborhood and the world like the ones mentioned on Scholastic Kids Press. How do current events directly impact your life? Are there things you've seen recently in the news that you think about a lot or are concerned about?
What makes something a news story? What would be considered gossip? Why does the public have so much interest in celebrities and their scandals? Does media coverage affect public interest in gossip?
When it comes to reporting the news, why is objectivity important? Can you find examples of objective journalism -- and journalism that isn't objective?
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