Product Review of Scholastic Kids Press
Scholastic Kids Press is a free website featuring news articles written by Scholastic’s team of kid reporters. These 10- to 14-year-old reporters address current events, breaking news, entertainment, and sports events. There’s a team of kid reporters representing each region of the United States to ensure that the news feed and news library represent both local and national affairs. There’s also an international team reporting global news. Their special-interest stories range from expert interviews to profiles of historical characters and notable people from the present to book trailers and coverage of national issues.
The news feed presents articles in chronological order, with the most recent piece at the top. Kids can click on the articles they want to read. Articles sometimes include videos, especially interview articles. The Coronavirus and Civics tabs work as filters for news reports related to these topics. The Kid Reporter tab show all Scholastic Kids Press reporters since 2018, accompanied by a brief bio and source of inspiration. It also lists all articles written by each reporter. Kids can look for articles on specific topics using the search function. The content of the articles is interesting to kids and extremely varied. Readers can learn about celebrities, recipes, current events, sports, and much more.
Educators could easily integrate Scholastic Kids Press articles into the classroom to inspire budding journalists or to enhance a history or current events class. The site offers articles and videos on local and national news, sports, and entertainment. It also features interviews with notable and inspirational figures. Since the articles are written by learners for learners and sometimes include video, it’s a good resource for educators looking for a user-friendly platform with accessible, age-appropriate content for tweens and teens.
Learners are also encouraged to apply to become a reporter for Scholastic Kids Press. The About page highlights the application process and answers frequently asked questions. Learners age 10–14 qualify to fill out the application to become Scholastic Kids Press reporters.
Scholastic Kids Press enables kids to easily sift through stories and read or watch the pieces that speak to them on their level. The navigation is easy, the design is focused and professional, and the content is kid-appropriate, tackling a range of topics in an accessible way that doesn’t feel pandering. The fact that everything is learner-written is inspiring, and learners who are interested in journalism, writing, and broadcasting can apply to be part of the Scholastic Kids Press team. Doing so is a good project, because applicants need to submit a news article, a personal essay, and story ideas about their community.
In a time when anyone can feel like a broadcaster by uploading a YouTube video or call themselves a journalist by writing a blog or some tweets, it’s refreshing to see a website that encourages kids to learn the tools of the journalism trade. The site effectively models impartial reporting and journalism; however, some supplemental resources would help educators make this clear to learners. Some lessons or even basic professional development on journalistic ethics or skills would take this site to the next level. The articles themselves could also be enhanced by some discussion questions and suggestions.
Overall User Consensus About the App
The site has interesting articles with appealing photos, but it’s fairly simple and focused without any interactivity. Videos and slides add variety.
Curriculum and Instruction
Content is current, interesting, and well presented. Learners can transfer what they read to other real-world situations or discussions and become more confident about current events and key issues.
The reading level is accessible to learners with a range of reading abilities. However, the site is primarily text-based and there aren’t translation or audio supports for English-language learners and kids with reading challenges.