We had an evening at work tonight where we meet with parents and talk about ways to encourage students . I was asked to talk about a publication I feel very passionately about, and ask the parents in attendance to complete an activity related to it. At work and home we subscribe to First News, a newspaper written specifically for KS2 and KS3 students (so ages 7-14 ish). I would say the reading age is around 10 years old, but the articles are well researched, interesting and snappy, so there are no vast tracts of text for the reluctant reader to manage.
The paper is set out similarly to an adult newspaper, with different sections covering different geographical areas or topics. Unlike a conventional newspaper, however, you can be sure that the material in it will be suitable, and potentially disturbing stories will be edited sensitively.
It's a brilliant resource for students to dip into and is something a little different and potentially more interesting than reading a book for some kids. C is a little young for it, but A enjoys having a flick through, and is a fan of the puzzle section and the book reviews and shopping columns. The parents seemed to enjoy working together to complete the News Quiz, which can be found in each copy of the newspaper, an activity which we often complete with the students.
I have seen teenagers who abhor reading curl up on a sofa with First News and voluntarily read for extended periods of time. This newspaper works at motivating kids to read, and they are aware of what young people want to read. It's available on subscrition or at large newsagents and some supermarkets, and is a bargainous £1.30 an issue.