Current Event Time with the News Advocate


Keeping up on current events with NIE

Posted by Ken Grabowski, News Advocate
November 21st, 2016

ONEKAMA — Onekama Consolidated Schools sixth grade teacher John Neph has more than 35 students in his classroom,  and keeping then engaged is a daily challenge.

One day that the Onekama educator never concerns himself with that task is on Newspapers in Education day. It is a time when all of his students are focused and locked into the task at hand.

Neph’s students aren’t any different than the other ones throughout the county that take part in the innovative program. It brings copies of the Manistee News Advocate into the classroom on a weekly basis, thanks to the support of the community.

Students in John Neph’s class at Onekama Consolidated Schools
enjoy the Newspapers in Education program.

Manistee News Advocate circulation manager Aaron DeKuiper said the program is extremely popular with local educators.

“All of this is made possible through the generous support of local businesses who contribute donations that help to keep the Newspapers in Education program free to area schools,” said DeKuiper.

Newspapers in Education is a national program that’s a component of the Newspaper Association of America. Local businesses support the program so the schools can use the newspapers in the classroom as an educational tool.

Neph has been using the Newspapers in Education program in his classroom for five years and likes what it adds to the curriculum. He said by bringing the newspaper into the classroom it keeps the students informed.

“I think it is important that students are aware of current events,” said Neph. “So every Friday we get the papers and go over them and talk about the things that are happening in our world.”

Neph said the students always find stories of interest to them.

“They read the stories very carefully and it gives them insight to whatever the issues may be that day,” Neph said. “I think it’s important that they just don’t read out of textbooks and that they are aware of what is taking place in the current society.”

Neph said that goes hand-in-hand with their regular studies.

“It allows them to link the two and they can use their knowledge to apply it to their studies,” he said.

What Neph also enjoys seeing the students’ interest level in reading increase with Newspapers in Education.

“Kids are going to read more if they’re interested in it,” he said. “That is what the newspaper gives them. It is definitely something I want to continue in the future.”

Student Emily Draper said it varies what they prefer to look at in the paper.

“I like to read the daily updates and stuff,” she said. “It’s just whatever catches my attention.”

Mary Niederstadt said she looks for the stories that carry information on her school.

“I like anything interesting with action and especially the things on Onekama schools,” she said.

Student Allison Osga takes a slightly different approach than her friends in what she looks for in the paper.

“I look for stories that have things in them about animals,” she said.”I am really interested in stories about the Homeward Bound Animal Shelter. I also like the sports.”

Even though the school year is nearing the halfway point, teachers and businesses still have the opportunity to become part of the Newspapers in Education program.

“All classrooms are eligible to participate this year,” said DeKuiper.

Contact DeKuiper at (231) 398-3124 or by email at for more details on the program.