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NIE: Twin Lakes fifth-graders get the Scoop

by HANNAH NEFF/Press
| October 4, 2021 1:07 AM

There are no idle hands in this classroom.

Deanna Watkins’ fifth-graders at Twin Lakes Elementary in Rathdrum are keeping their fingers and minds busy submitting responses weekly for Kid Scoop, a section of the newspaper just for kids published in The Press on Tuesdays.

The papers arrive every week, at no charge, thanks to NIE — the Newspapers in Education program used by The Press and many other newspaper companies.

“Last year, by the end of the year, I think 99% of my class had been authors in the paper, and some kids were like seven times,” Watkins said. “They were super excited.”

Watkins uses the Kid Scoop Weekly Writing Corner to assign students their new writing prompt each Tuesday, and share the week's published authors with the class.

Ten-year-old students Ava Bauer and Dallen Wilding said they were both excited to be featured in the Sept. 16 edition on safety tips.

“It feels really good and a little nervous because I’ve never been in an article before,” Ava said. “I'm excited and nervous at the same time.”

Ava’s published safety tips included driving the speed limit, walking in the hallway, and looking both ways before crossing the street. Ava said her tips can help kids be safe and keep them out of trouble while still having fun.

The new weekly prompt was to write about three goals the author would like to accomplish sometime in the future.

“Today I’m writing about saving money for something important, like a car or a house or maybe when I retire,” Ava said. “And then my second goal was passing tests by studying so then I can graduate school, go to college and get a job.”

Ava said she’s not sure what her career goal is; she might want to be a mom.

Dallen said he wants to be a police officer after he graduates from school.

His published safety tips included gun safety, bike safety and knife safety.

Dallen said he planned to bring home the paper to show his family.

“It’s quite awesome,” Dallen said. “I’m really, really proud of myself.”

Dallen’s goals for the next prompt include exercising, graduating from school and getting a driver’s license to prepare him for his career.

“I love it because it’s motivating for them,” Watkins said. “I’ve been a teacher for 33 years and it’s hard to get kids motivated to write, but this opportunity for them to get in the paper, I think it’s just exciting for them.”

Watkins said she loved getting her class involved in classwork with rewards to keep them motivated.

“On Tuesdays, they’re like, ‘What do we get to write about today?’” Watkins said. “They’re cheering about it, so as a teacher, what more can you want?”

Watkins said she believes her class has become better writers and are more excited about writing by submitting articles to Kid Scoop.

“I can't wait to get up in the morning and get the paper,” Watkins said. “It’s a win-win.”


To help expand The Press NIE program, please donate today.

Credit card: Call The Press, 208-664-8176

Check: Mail it to The Press, 215 N. Second St., Coeur d'Alene, 83814. Indicate that it's for Newspapers in Education or NIE.

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Ten year old Ava Bauer, a fifth grader at Twin Lakes Elementary school, said she was both excited and nervous to be published in Kid Scoop, a section of the newspaper for kids. HANNAH NEFF/Press

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Deanna Watkins, a fifth grade teacher at Twin Lakes Elementary school in Rathdrum, uses the Kid Scoop section in the Coeur d'Alene Press weekly to get her class writing and submitting to the Weekly Writing Corner with the hope of being published. HANNAH NEFF/Press

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Ten-year-old Ava Bauer, a fifth-grader at Twin Lakes Elementary School, waits her turn to give a response to the weekly writing prompt in Kid Scoop, a section of the newspaper for kids. HANNAH NEFF/Press

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Fifth grade teacher Deanna Watkins leads her class in a discussion of responses to the weekly writing prompt in Kid Scoop, a section of the paper for kids, at Twin Lakes Elementary in Rathdrum. HANNAH NEFF/Press

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Fifth grade teacher Deanna Watkins helps 10 year old Dallen Wilding collect his ideas into a submission for Kid Scoop, a section of the newspaper for kids, at Twin Lakes Elementary school in Rathdrum. HANNAH NEFF/Press

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Ten year old Dallen Wilding, a fifth grader at Twin Lakes Elementary school, works on his submission to Kid Scoop Weekly Writing Corner, a section of the newspaper where kids can submit a response to a weekly writing prompt with the possibility of getting published in the next issue. HANNAH NEFF/Press

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