A total of 545 students receive their local newspaper through Areawide Media's Newspaper in Education program, an ongoing tradition that local businesses are proud to support and continue.
Oct. 13 was the first day of the school year the fifth graders at Salem Elementary began examining their local newspaper in the classroom.
"They love it," said Corey Johnson, fifth grade teacher at Salem Elementary. Nineteen students each in three fifth grade classes at Salem Elementary review their local newspaper, The News, to observe the goings-on in the area and also to use the newspaper as a learning tool.
"It's not just Mondays, we will bring them out throughout the week, do math with it, have government lessons," Johnson said.
This weekly newspaper service has been made possible to school-age children of similar age through the area as part of a program implemented at Areawide Media and sponsored by a collection of local businesses.
Over eight years ago, Areawide Media began the Newspaper in Education program in local schools.
"The kids think it's great, they read it every week," said Dennis Sublett, principal of Highland Middle School. "It gives them something to read beside fiction books. They are learn ing how to read them. Some kids get newspapers at home, some don't, it's good for them to know what is going on in our area."
Being able to introduce young minds to the world of information available through the newspaper is the principle goal of the project.
"It's really good for the kids, very educational, gives them a lot of interesting things to look at," said Debbie Perryman, circulation manager for Areawide Media.
Sponsors of distribution of The News and The South Missourian News are Fred's Fish House, North Arkansas Electric, Harps of Thayer, First National Banking Company, Bank of Salem, Dr. Michael Kersey, Brien Nix-Hall, Leslie Pharmacy, Modern Woodmen of America and Short Title Company.
Sponsors of distribution of the Villager Journal are the Quad Cities Rotary Club, First National Banking Company, City of Ash Flat, Brien Nix-Hall, City of Hardy, McDonald's of Hardy and Ash Flat and KSAR. Areawide Media can accept two more sponsors for the Villager Journal's Newspaper in Education program.
The News or The South Missourian News is distributed to Salem Elementary, Viola Elementary, Mount Pleasant Elementary, Mammoth Spring Elementary.
The Villager Journal is distributed to Williford Elementary, Cave City Elementary, Highland Middle School, Cherokee Elementary and Evening Shade Elementary.