Newspapers are amazing tools of education that can give real-world perspective to school lessons.

When used in the classroom, newspapers encourage critical thinking skills, helping students learn to analyze information, distinguish fact from opinion and draw conclusions, while at the same time connecting lessons to life.

A grocery store flier, for example, can help students learn to budget and plan, while at the same time teaching them to compare and contrast items in search for the best prices.

Reading a story about a city council meeting keeps students informed about their community. But at the same time, it can be used to help students understand how to locate information, or find the main idea. They can also discuss the council’s decision-making process, and form their own opinions — and write supporting papers — about the topics discussed by the council.

A story that happens in a remote part of the world can open a variety of interesting classroom lessons. First, the students can find the city or country on a map, and then they can research the region. What language is spoken there? What continent is it on? What’s the capital? How far is it from there to Yuma?

Using the newspaper in the classroom can expand a child’s vocabulary, and can lead to discussion and debate about community, national or global issues.

And, a newspaper has something for every interest — news, features, sports, entertainment, community, comics, weather, puzzles, opinion or advertisements.

The possibilities are endless.

This year, for the first time, the Yuma Sun is offering an option for online newspaper access in place of the printed newspaper, in support of the move by many schools to iPad learning systems.

The Yuma Sun’s NIE program is available to any grade level at any school in the county, and is paid for through fundraisers as well as the support of generous donors and sponsors. To help support the program and adopt a classroom, please contact the Yuma Sun circulation department at 928-783-3333.

Teachers interested in learning more or signing up can do so by visiting NIEinYuma.com, or by calling 928-783-3333.

Together, we can reach our goal of putting news access in every classroom in Yuma County, and helping young minds grow.

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