NIE reinforcing reading habits

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 2, 1999

A class of second-graders at Morgantown Elementary received an extra helping of the four food groups Wednesday morning. Thanks to the Newspapers In Education program, the class receives the Wednesday edition of The Natchez Democrat each week to use for different assignments.

&uot;You can tell (the students) look forward every Wednesday to getting the paper,&uot; said their teacher, Kathy Pollard.

This week the second-graders cut out items that belonged in each food group.

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&uot;It means a lot to the children. It’s something different,&uot; Pollard said of NIE. &uot;We are always looking for different ways to teach children.&uot;

Pollard said the paper is a great way to reinforce the things children learn and it also promotes reading skills.

&uot;It’s a reinforcement tool in any subject,&uot; Pollard said.

The program is sponsored by The Natchez Democrat and local businesses and organizations. The newspaper provides the papers to the classes at cost, along with teaching guides and preplanned lessons and worksheets.

Community groups are needed to sponsor the program and provide the cost of the papers.

Natchez has had this program for several years but sponsorship this year has been low.

Close to 40 classes with more than 1,000 students from the Natchez-Adams&160;School District, Concordia Parish, Holy Family Elementary School, Adams County Christian School and Cathedral School have requested papers this year. An adult education class has also requested 40 papers per week.

But only about 17 classes are receiving the papers, many without the needed sponsorship.

&uot;The teachers around here keep asking, ‘Where are our newspapers?’&uot; Pollard said. &uot;The businesses need to know we use the newspapers.&uot;

For many students, newspaper day is a break from the regular classroom routine, Pollard said.

&uot;It’s so important for us to get the newspapers, even at the lower grades,&uot; Pollard said.

The students use the papers in a number of ways, including practicing their numbers, cutting out different types of words, such as pronouns, or discussing the weather and current events.

The newspaper helps children visualize what they are learning, Pollard said.

&uot;It’s them having something in their hand they can look at,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s another tool to help us.&uot;

Pollard said older students get even more use out of the paper because their reading skills are better.

Many of the students enjoy reading the paper because they have seen adults reading it, she said. &uot;They may not read every word,&uot; she said. &uot;(But) they try to read it.&uot;