ASHTABULA — Eagle-eyed observers may note a change in today’s paper. Today marks the second time the Kid Scoop page has been published in the Star Beacon.

The introduction of Kid Scoop is intended to help area students with literacy, Star Beacon Advertising Director James Briggs said.

Kid Scoop was founded by a former elementary school teacher, Vicki Whiting, and aims to engage children and help improve literacy skills, according to Kid Scoop’s web page.

“It’s all about literacy,” Star Beacon Circulation Director Roy Jenkins said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to help the community bring forth some awareness about that issue,” Briggs said. “These kids need to learn to read now.”

Last Thursday was the first day for Kid Scoop in the Star Beacon. Moving forward, Kid Scoop will be published on Tuesdays.

Thursday’s Kid Scoop page included information on dinosaurs. Today’s page includes a hand-washing maze and information on winter health.

The page includes a section where students can write in to answer a question posed each week. Thursday’s Kid Scoop asked readers what they would change if they were elected class president.

In today’s paper, Kid Scoop poses another question, asking children how they earn money.

Upcoming topics for Kid Scoop include Martin Luther King Jr., goods and services and dental health.

The page also has activities, including word searches and suggestions for physical activities, along with games. Those activities line up with educational Common Core standards, according to Kid Scoop.

Common Core standards are unified educational standards that have been adopted by 41 states, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Earlier this year, most Ashtabula County schools received a D on their state report cards. Three Ashtabula County school districts received Ds at improving at-risk readers in grades K-3, according to the state report card. Three more districts received Cs in improving at risk readers, and one received an F, according to the districts’ various report cards.

For the overall report card grades, Grand Valley and Jefferson received Cs. The rest of the districts in Ashtabula County received Ds.

Kid Scoop fits with the Star Beacon’s Newspapers in Education program. “Teachers should be able to use this to increase their learning in their classrooms,” Jenkins said. “We’re hoping more local teachers will start using this page weekly, on Tuesdays, to help the local schools out.”

Kid Scoop also encourages children to engage with the rest of the paper, telling students to read the first paragraphs of stories and identify important elements of the story, and picking out details in pictures in the paper.

“The schools can only do so much, and here we’re trying to involve the parents and the home life,” Briggs said.

Any businesses interested in sponsoring the Kid Scoop page should reach out to James Briggs at the Star Beacon’s advertising department by calling (440) 998-2323 ext. 140.

“There’s all kinds of studies ... saying how well kids that have a newspaper in their homes, how much better they are in school, so it’s important that we, as a newspaper, do something for our community to promote literacy,” Jenkins said.

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