Debra Kennedy has been teaching in the Glynn County School System for 30 years, and she’s been signed up for the Newspapers in Education program since its inception.
The fourth-grade teacher at C.B. Greer Elementary has found ways to incorporate the content of The Brunswick News into every subject, and she said her students’ love for the newspaper has been constant through the years.
“The NIE program brings in real life, “ Kennedy said. “And you can use it in every one of the subjects.”
Kennedy’s long career with the school system will come to an end this year with her retirement.
And recently, during one of the final days of the school year and one of Kennedy’s last days in her C.B. Greer classroom, she reflected with her students on the multiple uses the class found for The Brunswick News.
“We’ve gone on scavenger hunts inside the newspaper, looking for things like ads and subtitles,” said Brennan Wood, a student in Kennedy’s class. “And we’ve also found in the coupon thing, we’ve made a budget for what we might eat for a week.”
Kennedy said the budgeting lesson covered an economics assignment, and the NIE program can span all sorts of class topics.
“We used the newspaper once in one of our plays, about the American Revolution,” said fourth-grader Samantha Corey.
The class pretended that The Brunswick News was set during the Boston Massacre, much to the students’ enjoyment.
The class also used the newspaper for art projects, Kennedy said.
“We made a pentagon dome,” said Nija Story. “What you do is you have four pieces of paper and you roll it up with a pencil to make a toothpick. Then you would tape it and use staples. And I really liked doing that.”
Even as the curriculum has changed through the years, Kennedy has found that the newspaper’s use as an educational tool has never gone away.
“We cut out the weather every Tuesday, because that’s part of our science curriculum,” she said. “The weather and the moon phases. So we always made sure we had that.”
And while Kennedy said she’s enjoyed every moment at C.B. Greer, including her NIE lessons, she’s looking forward to her retirement.
“I’m going to miss these children, oh I’m going to miss teaching. But I’m ready to not get up early in the morning,” she said, laughing. “But I’m going to miss my children.”
Want to get involved with Newspapers in Education, all it takes is a phone call to The News at 265-8320 ext. 356. Summer Whitten would be happy to sign up teachers to get their newspapers twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.