Review by Michelle Warrence-Schreiber, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2012

Scholastic Kids Press Corps

Captivate classes with real journalism for kids, by kids

Common Sense says
Teachers say (3 Reviews)
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Grades
5-8 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: The kid-friendly content is really high-quality and covers a wide range of newsworthy topics.

Cons: You'll have to come up with your own classroom ideas; no extension activities accompany these great stories.

Bottom Line: It's well worth your while to use this appealing news site to get kids motivated about journalism.

Not only is the content appealing to kids, but kids are also encouraged to apply to become a reporter for the Student Press Corps. Your students can fill out applications and read tips from well-known journalists.

You could easily integrate Scholastic Kids Press Corps articles into your classroom to inspire budding journalists or to enhance a history or current events class. The site offers suggestions for creating a school newspaper and how to develop the skills that go along with it: brainstorming, research, interviewing, and, finally, writing the story.

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The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a  website featuring articles written by Scholastic's team of 50 Kid Reporters. These 10- to 14-year-old reporters address current events, breaking news, entertainment, sports events, and news from their hometowns. Their special interest stories range from author interviews, profiles of historical characters, and notable people from the present (including the Obamas) to book trailers and national issues.

Kids can click around the site to visit different sections and read news reports and blogs or watch videos. Visitors can browse the site's sections: Kid Reporter Interviews, Healthy Kids, National News, Kids Read, Movies, TV, Music, Tips from the Pros, Sports, and The Election. The content of the articles is interesting to kids and extremely varied. Readers can learn about celebrities, recipes, current events, sports, and much more.

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As a news resource, Scholastic Kids Press Corps enables kids to sift through information by category and read or watch the pieces that speak to them on their level. The navigation is easy, and the content is kid-appropriate. Kids who are interested in journalism, writing, and broadcasting can apply to be part of the Scholastic Kids News Press Corps team -- they'll share a biography and a 400-word story about the uniqueness of his or her community, including one interview and quotes. That's a great exercise in itself!

In an age when just about anyone can feel like a broadcaster by uploading a YouTube video or call themselves a journalist by writing a blog, it’s refreshing to see a website that encourages kids to learn the tools of the journalism trade. The efforts and enthusiasm of the carefully selected Press Corps converge to create an informative and entertaining news site that speaks to tweens and teens on a level they can definitely understand.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

The site has interesting articles with appealing visuals. It's well-designed and includes videos and slides that should keep kids coming back.  

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Content is current, interesting, and well-presented. Kids will engage in critical thinking, can transfer information about what they read to other real-world situations, and become empowered by what they learn about their world.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Its reading level is accessible to kids with a range of reading abilities. However, the site is primarily text-based, which could be a challenge for some English-language learners and kids with reading challenges.


Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Elaine G. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Henry World School
Denver, CO
3
Current events and stories relevant for young people.

The website is too busy hard for younger students and lower-level readers to navigate. The website will be taking a break for the 2013-2014 school year. This means no new information or current stories.

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