Home Opinion Editorial Education and the local NIE program

Education and the local NIE program


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Barbara Beck
and John Dilmore

We’ve become accustomed over the course of the pandemic to disruptions, large and small. Few can look over the last 12 months and see anything resembling their pre-pandemic lives. Work changed. Travel changed. Social interactions changed. Layers of risk and risk-management were added to even the simplest daily tasks and life’s more complex requirements could at times feel downright daunting.

Young people have had an especially tough time as school, such a huge component of their lives nine months of every year, most definitely changed. Many students had a difficult time with remote learning as school facilities were shuttered and education was forced online. Still, the students, their support networks of family and friends and the army of educators serving them soldiered on through a remarkably difficult year.

Our Newspapers in Education (NIE) program, a small part of those overall educational efforts, has continued throughout the pandemic as well. The Roswell Daily Record, with the help of our program sponsors, has continued to offer free newspapers for teachers to use in their educational efforts, even as classrooms became virtual, the learning long-distance.

We’ve done this for years, and will continue to through good times and bad for a number of reasons, all of them aimed at helping the educational process.

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Teachers are able to use the newspapers provided by NIE in any way they choose. One teacher might use the numbers found in a news story as an example in a math class, while another could very easily use our coverage of various aspects of local government as the foundation for a civics lesson. A teacher might also choose to teach a lesson on the newspaper, and on news in general. The history of our community is also a frequent topic of stories in the newspaper, making it a perfect tool when lessons turn to local history.

Pretty much any topic one can think of appears in the pages of the newspaper over the course of any given week, as our content also includes coverage of national and world affairs. And the newspaper can assist in lessons taught at any grade level — it’s a very flexible program. At the end of the day, it’s another tool for local teachers to employ as they see fit.

Obviously, we also like the idea of introducing young people to the value of local news and information, in their own hometown paper. There are features on local residents, many of whom the kids likely know, or at least know of; in-depth coverage of sports, including spotlights on the athletes who take the field and coaches who handle the Xs and Os; and of course coverage of local government and politics, among many other topics.

This is news gathered by reporters who live here, information its writers and their editors are accountable for and stand behind, which is meant to help readers make sense of issues and events that impact them directly. It’s far removed from some of the other sources of information (or perhaps misinformation) young people are exposed to at times. That difference might offer a lesson in itself.

As local students return to the classroom as part of the hybrid-learning model, in addition to rooting for their success, we’ll continue providing the newspaper as a tool to assist teachers and students in their efforts. And as always, we’d like to thank the businesses that help sponsor the program and remind others that it’s another great way to support local education.

The past 12 months have brought us face to face with some hard realizations, such as just how quickly our lives can unexpectedly be turned upside down. But as troubled times often do, the last year has also brought into focus the things that matter most. Few things are more important than providing local youth with a solid educational foundation. That’s why it’s always been a community-wide effort, and why pandemic or no pandemic, we’ll always be happy to play our part.

It all begins in the classroom, whether virtual or in-person, and maybe that’s been the past year’s ultimate reminder in terms of education: just how vital to our communities and society as a whole that setting is.


Barbara Beck is publisher of the Roswell Daily Record. She can be reached at bbeck@rdrnews.com. John Dilmore is editor of the Roswell Daily Record. He can be reached at editor@rdrnews.com.

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