John Howell’s Column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newspapers empower students with information

Next week The Panolian will launch its Newspaper in Education program for the 2008-’09 school year.

Through this program, approximately 2,500 copies of The Panolian are delivered to Panola County schools. That provides an individual copy for every fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grader in the county. That’s Batesville Middle and Junior High Schools, Pope School, North Delta School, Crenshaw, Green Hill and Como Elementary Schools and North Panola Junior High — quite a list!

Many teachers put The Panolian to imaginative uses in their classrooms. There’s the Panola Kids page, of course, with age/grade appropriate exercises for skills mastery.  Teachers also utilize every part of the newspaper for students’ games like word scavenger hunts and shopping/math and budget assignments.

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We think that providing these newspapers in classrooms seriously promotes reading among youngsters. Teachers constantly tell us that. It also makes school children aware of local events — right here in Panola County, shaping them as future citizens. Teachers tell us that, too.

Of course, we’d be remiss in not admitting that we have our own ulterior motive for putting our newspaper in students’ hands. We want to hook some while they’re young into becoming lifelong Panolian readers.

We initiated a reinvigorated Newspaper in Education program with our return to active management of The Panolian in 2005.

Businesses, industry and professional people in our community responded cordially to our request to help us underwrite our extra cost of printing and distribution.

They realized the importance of a viable, proactive newspaper in the community and also the importance of placing its information into the hands of young people.

Many of our corporate sponsors have continued year after year, but we need additional sponsors. If you would like to help us place information — especially local information — into the hands of our students in Panola County, we need you.

Remember, information is powerful. Information placed into the hands of young people empowers them for the future.

Become a partner with us. School has started. Papers will be delivered starting next Tuesday