Newspapers in Education helps students become informed citizens

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    By Terri Lynn Oldham House

    The SUN documented history being made this week with the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine to Archuleta County and the first injection in a local medical provider.

    This month marks the SUN’s 111th  year of documenting the history of Archuleta County and informing citizens through journalism.

    This month is also the month that The Pagosa Springs SUN joins forces with 25 Colorado newsrooms to amplify the impact of local journalism — not just in our newsroom, but in communities across our state — thanks to the generosity of the Colorado Media Project and its matching gift campaign. 

    Collectively, our work is essential to a better-informed community and a healthy democracy. But it would not be possible without the support of readers like you.

    Through Dec. 31, the Colorado Media Project will match your contribution up to $1,000. The SUN’s goal is to use this funding to start a Newspapers in Education (NIE) program.

    U.S. history teacher Steven Long responded to the idea of introducing a NIE program to his eighth-grade students at Pagosa Springs Middle School: “I think studying current events is one of the most critical skills I can teach my students. There are so many valuable topics such as identifying bias, what is credible vs. what isn’t.”

    Long’s next question was how do we get the program underway?

    We are currently working to raise funds to start the program in January. Each student participating will receive their own physical copy of the newspaper each week and SUN staff will assist in developing curriculum.

    Students in online learning will receive a digital copy of the newspaper.

    We are excited to work with our local schools. The importance of local journalism during these uncertain times cannot be overstated — it’s what keeps our community informed and connected, day after day, and is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy.

    We hope you will consider a contribution to help a teacher use newspapers in the classroom to better inform students about our community and help improve their critical thinking skills.

    Media literacy is more important now than ever to help students identify credible news sources. Using the newspaper as an educational resource helps students to develop a better understanding of local government.

    Newspapers can also contribute in enhancing literacy and help students become better consumers of the news.

    Please help us to kickoff the Newspapers in Education program in our local schools by sending a contribution to The Pagosa Springs SUN, Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or dropping off a check at our office at 457 Lewis St. between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    Contributions received before Dec. 31 will be matched up to $1,000 for a total of $5,000 in matching funds. 

    Thank you in advance for your contribution. Your generous support for local journalism and strengthening the education of our youth through Newspapers in Education is greatly appreciated.