•  American launches Newspaper In Education program

    St. Louis American

     By American staff|

    The St. Louis American, Saint Louis Public Schools, the Normandy School District and the Saint Louis Science Center, along with corporate partners, have collaborated to create a unique classroom tool that is being launched this week.

    The initial pilot project will be directly targeted to the Saint Louis Public Schools and Normandy School districts. This Newspaper In Education program will continue in the newspaper and online atstlamerican.comevery week for the entire 2012-2013 academic school year.

    According to the National Newspaper Association (NNA), students with some Newspaper In Education (NIE) program in their classrooms score on average 10 percent higher on standardized tests than students who do not use an NIE program.

    When it comes to minority students, that number soars. Minority students who use a newspaper at least once a week score 29 percent higher on standardized tests than minority students who don’t use a newspaper, according to the NNA.

    Partnering with St. Louis-based organizations, including Ameren Missouri, Centene, Emerson and Monsanto,The Americanwill print and deliver newspapers free of charge to more than 4,700 students in the Normandy School District and Saint Louis Public School District during this initial launch.

    Every week during the school year, there will be a full page in the Main News portion of theAmerican,dedicated to the paper’s NIE program. The full color page will be targeted to students in 3rd, 4thand 5thgrades, and all the content will meet Missouri Learning Standards and Common Core States Standards (see page 13A of this week’s edition).

    The program is focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and literacy. Each week will have a unique theme (this week’s theme is “solar”), and will have fun learning activities for the students, such as a science experiment; Math Connection; a piece about African-American inventors and inventions; and MAP Corner with sample questions on the standardized MAP tests.

    There will also be a Classroom Spotlight piece every week, with a photo of a local classroom doing something fun and perhaps a little different with STEM education.

    Students will be encouraged to take the newspaper home to share with their parents.

    “This is certainly one of the largest and most important initiatives in the 84-year history ofThe St. Louis American,” said Kevin Jones, theAmerican’sCOO and creator of this special project.  “We’re extremely excited. It’s been in the works for a while, but we wanted to do it right, we wanted to do it big, we wanted to have the right partners and, most importantly, we want it to have a lasting impact.”

    Jones credits several key partners who are assisting with this project.

    “SLPS and Normandy, and the Science Center have all embraced this project,” Jones said. “There is absolutely no way we could have created this program with out their whole-hearted support.”

    Dr. Nicole Williams, deputy superintendent for academic services at Saint Louis Public Schools, said program is “a powerful way to get teachers involved.” According to Williams, “this links the paper to real life for the students, teachers and parents.”

    As part of this initiative, theAmericanhas engaged a St. Louis American NIE Advisory Board, comprised of seven educators as well as area leaders from major corporations related to STEM fields. The board is being chaired by Diane Miller, vice president, community programs and partnerships for the Saint Louis Science Center.

    This initiative aims to help lower the achievement gap among African-American students and encourage and support greater participation of African Americans at an early stage in their educational experience. This program seeks to help prepare them for productive careers in a math and science knowledge-based science economy.

    Additional aspects of this initiative include professional development for teachers, and classroom field trips to the Science Center and area science and technology-based companies.

    WhileThe St. Louis Americanis launching this program with Saint Louis Public Schools and the Normandy School District, many teachers from other schools and districts may also choose to use this tool in their classroom.  Please visitstlamerican.comand click on the “Newspaper In Education” button, where you will have free access to this page online each week.