Kid Scoop News, a product of Chicago-based Content That Works, won a coveted Parents' Choice Award. Here's the review Parents Choice gave:
Formatted as a large-sized tabloid, Kid Scoop News is a free newspaper for students in grades 2 through 8 in Sonoma County, California whose teachers have signed up for the school-year classroom subscription. The newspaper is always free to students, but there is a $250 per-classroom price. Teachers or schools don't necessarily have to pay for it. They can find a local business sponsor to do so, or they can ask for a "full scholarship" through Kid Scoop News.
Kid Scoop News offers content for kids that is effortlessly engaging. Upbeat and colorful, even newsy at times, the content on each of the twenty-four pages per issue includes short news features (the Petaluma Little League baseball team or a local Veteran's Day tribute) and regular pages on money matters, nutrition, Earth news, and pets. There are also puzzles, games, brainteasers and a monthly calendar of local events. Some of the content is kid-created. Kids review restaurants and books, and they contribute artwork.
Sponsors are mentioned on the back-page "Thanks You" list. Sponsors from Sonoma County banks and restaurants to mattress stores and auto repair shops get some visibility, but their presence is never as intrusive, manipulative or unhealthy for young readers as the high-powered commercialism seen in some ad-supported publications for kids. In fact, the sponsors tend to contribute some useful content to the publication. Kids' book reviews, for instance, carry the logo of Copperfield's Books, a local sponsor. The "Restaurant Scoop" page includes small ads for four local restaurants. Some features are even tied to sponsors: An interesting story about runoff from a season's first rainfall includes a sponsorship ad from Sonoma Country Water. A Halloween Safety page is sponsored by AAA Northern California.
Kids in Sonoma County whose classrooms receive Kid Scoop News are better for it. This is a good newspaper for kids in an era when newspapers are struggling to find readers.
Don Oldenburg ©2013 Parents' Choice
A former writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is a freelance writer, editorial consultant and coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The father of three sons, he lives with them and wife, Ann, a writer at USA Today, in McLean, VA.