Q:

What can I do to encourage my children to read the newspaper? - A Newspaper Reader

A:

You can make it a point to work with your children in March when schools celebrate Newspaper in Education Week, generally the first week in March. This program is designed to introduce children to newspapers and to turn them into future readers. Because you are newspaper readers, your children should follow in your footsteps. To make sure this happens, here are a few things that you can do to build the newspaper-reading habit throughout the year:

For Young Children

1. Read a family-oriented comic strip to your children every day.

2. Introduce your children to the special pages in the newspaper that have activities designed specifically for children.

3. For gift-giving occasions, have the children study newspaper ads for gift ideas within a certain price range. They can also use these ads to tell you what toys they might like.

4. On shopping days, let your children select one item from the grocery-store ads that you will purchase for them if it is an acceptable family food.

For Older Children

1. Cut intriguing cartoons from the newspaper and put them on a bulletin board or the refrigerator for everyone in the family to enjoy. Encourage your children to do the same thing. It will have them investigating the contents of different sections of the newspaper.

2. Introduce computer fans to the online version of your local paper.

3. Follow newspaper stories of headline events in the Middle East on a map of the area. This will give your children an edge in their social-studies classes.

4. Have your children determine the ratings of motion pictures they wish to see by reading movie ads.

5. Encourage your children to read movie and TV reviews to help them decide which shows and programs they wish to see.

6. Follow the activities of a sports team each season in the newspaper so your family can have more knowledgeable sports discussions.

You can find even more family newspaper activities at www.nieonline.com.