By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Newspapers in Education makes a difference with area students
Placeholder Image

For information or to become

For more information on the Monroe Times Newspaper In Education program, or to become a sponsor, contact Carl Hearing, publisher and general manager, at

The Monroe Times, by emailing chearing@ The phone number is 608-328-4202. ext. 15.

To donate to NIE,

make checks payable to The Monroe Times NIE program, and mail to 1065 4th Ave. West, Monroe, WI 53566,

attention: Carl Hearing.

MONROE - Using newspapers in the classroom to help open children's minds up to the world around them has been an enduring legacy in American education.

"For more than two centuries in this country, newspapers have been used in classroom instruction," says The New York Times in an article for its College Classroom program. It quotes an excerpt from the Portland Eastern Herald of Maine from June 8, 1795, which wrote:

"Do you wish your child to improve in reading solely, give him a newspaper, it furnishes a variety, some parts of which must indelibly touch his fancy. Do you wish to instruct him in geography, nothing will so indelibly fix the relative situation of different places, as the stories and events published in the papers."

The tradition of newspapers in the classrooms continues to this day, spurred on by efforts such as the National Newspaper in Education program that puts local newspapers in K-12 classrooms, thanks to sponsorships by businesses and individuals. The Monroe Times is a long-time participant in the NIE program, providing deeply discounted newspapers to classrooms throughout its readership area.

Newspapers help showcase current events on the local, state, national and international level, giving teachers real-world examples to use with students. In addition, newspapers help bolster geography, reading and math skills in young readers.

Black Hawk is one area district that is an active participant in the program.

Jan Olson, reading teacher and reading specialist in the district, coordinates Black Hawk's involvement in NIE. She said the Monroe Times is used across the grade levels, with teachers tailoring their use of the newspaper to the students' age.

For example, in the younger elementary grades, students are looking for "self-to-text" relationships, such as looking for a photo of a brother or sister or to find out how Black Hawk did in a sporting event, Olson said. Teachers use this connection to tell

students what is happening

in their own school,

which also helps build school pride.

In these early grades, teachers are also "building an awareness about what's going on in our community and in our state," Olson said.

As students move into the older elementary grades, they use the newspaper for silent reading time. Olson said students will grab a newspaper and read it, which helps builds vocabulary.

"Sports is always first" to be read, she said.

In the middle-school grades, students use the newspaper to "stand and deliver," a technique where students read something in the newspaper, whether it be local, national or world news, and then share it with the rest of the group, Olson said.

High schoolers use the newspaper primarily for silent reading time and for social studies. They also learn the different components of and the terminology associated with newspapers.

Olson said she appreciates the program for getting newspapers into the hands of students, as well as local business sponsors that make the program possible.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to let kids know that businesses are helping support this," she said.

Newspapers are provided at a greatly reduced cost for the NIE program, and businesses and individual sponsorships are vital to support the local program, said Carl Hearing, Times publisher and general manager.

Any size donation is welcome.

"For as little as $25, you could be supplying a 100 newspapers to local students," Hearing said. "That's a tremendous bargain, given the amount of benefit students get from reading their local newspaper on a regular basis."