Crystal King, a kindergarten teacher at Burroughs-Molette Elementary School, points out words in The Brunswick News with her student, Noah Yomans.

One of the earliest and most crucial lessons for every student is to learn how to read.

In Crystal King’s kindergarten class at Burroughs-Molette Elementary School, she pulls out copies of The Brunswick News once a week, as part of her students’ literacy education.

“We do what we call a ‘snap word hunt,’” she said. “We look for snap words that can be recognized in a snap.”

King has used the Newspapers in Education program in her classroom for several years. The program provides free copies of the newspaper to Glynn County schools each week. Teachers around the county use the program in a variety of creative ways in their classrooms.

In King’s class, the students spread the papers out on the floor once a week to practice their reading skills.

“They just get highlighters and they go through and highlight the snap words that they find,” she said. “And if we’re working on a particular letter … like this week we’ll be doing letter ‘j,’ … they’ll be trying to find the letter ‘j.’”

The students feel proud when they spot the words and letters in The News’ headlines and articles.

“They’re excited when they’re learning snap words or when they’re learning letters and they can pick up something and find it,” King said. “They get excited to be able to find it in the newspaper. And it’s something that’s going home that their parents read and they can read.”

When the kindergarten class moves on to learn senses and more words, King said she’ll use the advertising inserts included in the newspaper.

“Later on, if we’re doing the senses and it’s like things we can taste, we might pull out the sale circular and use the pictures,” she said. “Or if we’re doing a letter and they’re looking for something that starts with that letter, they can use the pictures.”

Community involvement in the education of local students is important for their success, she said.

“Literacy is very important. and any time we can promote reading in any form or fashion, that’s what’s needed,” she said.