Our era of information overload and seemingly ubiquitous social and broadcast media often makes deciphering the news of the day and major world events a challenge, especially for students. Educators and librarians have been teaching essential digital citizenship and media literacy skills for some time now, and Scholastic is offering a new resource for their instruction toolbox. Reporting the News, created by the editors of Scholastic Kids Press and Scholastic’s Magazines+ team, is a suite of lessons, activities, and how-to videos designed to help kids in grades 4–6 build media literacy become solid student journalists.

“In the past two years, kids and adults alike have navigated a series of complex“ and challenging global events while trying to stay connected,” said Suzanne McCabe, editor of Scholastic Press and one of the creators of Reporting the News. “Both families and classrooms have turned to the news for essential information, highlighting the need for media literacy starting at an early age.”

Reporting the News consists of five downloadable lessons and activities that coach kids through the process of researching, writing, and editing news articles. The hope is, according to McCabe, that the new resource will help students better understand the news and how it’s written. She feels that honing valuable journalism and media literacy skills will “help children grow to become informed and engaged citizens.”

McCabe believes educators will welcome the new collection of materials. “Teachers are eager for a news reporting resource to help students think critically, locate and organize information from reliable sources, and write effectively,” she said. “That’s what Reporting the News is designed to do. We hope, too, that this new resource will help young people turn a more critical eye to the information they consume and be better able to detect misinformation.”

Though Reporting the News features a fresh lineup of tools and tips, the resource has some deep roots. “It was built off the success of the award-winning Scholastic Kids Press program,” McCabe said. “We launched Scholastic Kids Press in 2000. The idea was to bring our coverage of presidential elections alive in the classroom. Rather than having adults explain the electoral process, we let our readers see it unfold through the eyes of their peers.” The program proved such a success, McCabe noted, that Scholastic broadened it and took it international. “Each year, a new team of Kid Reporters between the ages of 10 and 14 writes ‘news for kids, by kids,’ ” McCabe added. “Our young journalists have interviewed sitting presidents, Supreme Court justices, scientists, authors, athletes, and more. Their stories appear on our Kids Press blog and in select issues of Scholastic Magazines+, which reach more than 25 million students in classrooms nationwide.”

In tandem with introducing of Reporting the News, McCabe said that the application process for the next team of Kid Reporters has recently opened. Educators and parents can find additional information about the Scholastic Kids Press program and how to apply here. Applications must be received by June 1.