Local educators can see the enthusiasm when each issue is distributed in the classroom.

Our seasoned local writers have donated hundreds of hours over many years because they have long understood the potential.

Those of us who create and assemble the monthly reading and learning initiative are not surprised.

Our dedicated sponsors recognized from the outset the imperative of this initiative and its significant long-term benefits to the success of young people and our overall community.

Seeing the young faces light up as Kidsville News! is distributed each month is always rewarding. However, it’s hard to put a finger on specific gains in reading ability, overall literacy, and retention.

The advancement is not easily quantifiable from one period to the next. We know response is positive and the enjoyment is evident. And we have known all along that Kidsville News! is beneficial. I’m not sure any of us knew how beneficial.

The recent Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) report contained a

page tab-sized product is printed on high-quality bright newsprint. It is delivered to all local schools early every month, one for every student, teacher, and support staffer. The students get to take Kidsville News! home. It is theirs to read on their own or with a loving parent, grandparent, or sibling. They can read on their own time and it’s not schoolwork. Copies are also delivered to all public libraries so that home schoolers have easy access.

Each issue of this two-time Parents Choice Award-winning paper is packed with articles, pictures, and games that capture the imagination of children at various reading and comprehension levels.

In addition, several retired local educators and active historians contribute informative pieces about local events and history that children will not read anywhere else.

It is well-documented that students who read proficiently by the 3rd grade are much more likely to learn as years pass. They will be better able to absorb information and they will have a greater interest in learning and exploring opportunities.

While the proficient readers all find Kidsville News! engaging and entertaining, the real key to a high percentage of college and career readiness is reaching the marginal learners. Cultivating the child’s confidence in reading and retaining will naturally aid in that thirst to increase knowledge. That process opens up so many doors later in the educational process.

The key to all of it is getting children interested and proficient in reading during their formative years. THAT is what Kidsville News! can do for a community.

The Courier Journal is proud to be associated with such an initiative. We are greatly appreciative to all the writers and sponsors over the years who have helped local students attain such a high degree of success where the sky is truly the limit. We look forward to helping future classes of children with those important building blocks of knowledge.