Dealing with Strong Election Emotions


“I feel very strongly about the presidential election,” wrote Lillian, age 10. “My friends feel the candidates I dislike should be president,” she added in the News-O-Matic News Room. “I don’t know what I’m feeling or how to control it. Help!”

Lillian isn’t alone. “I am very much into politics,” wrote Hope. “I am only 11, but I know what I’m talking about,” she added. “My mom and dad are from different parties, and I do not know who to like. Please help!”

Lots of kids (and grown-ups) have strong feelings about this election. You may hear people arguing about the candidates — sometimes loudly. You may even disagree with your friends. This can be upsetting. Election Day is on November 8. We must find a way to stay cool and in control.

Dr. Phyllis Ohr is a child psychologist for News-O-Matic. She has ideas to help.


1. Say How You Feel

If your friends or family members seem angry at each other, tell them how you feel about it. Explain that you are getting upset because of their disagreement. Most likely, they don’t realize that they are being hurtful to you.

Ask parents to explain their views in a respectful way and without name-calling. You can suggest that there are certain times of the day when political talk is not allowed, such as mealtime or bedtime.


2. Agree to Disagree

Explain to your friends that you can “agree to disagree.” This may not be easy, but imagine all the fun you and your friends have together. Accept that you and your friends may think differently about a candidate. Find something that you do agree about — even if it’s not the election. Then just do the things together that you enjoy!


3. Write It Down

There are other ways to help with strong feelings about political disagreements. You can write down your thoughts and keep them private. Put them in a special box. A week later you might not be so upset and you can take your “upsetting thoughts” out of the box. Then you can share them or just throw them out.

There are many opinions about what makes a good leader. Just remember that each candidate has the same goal: to make America a safe, wonderful place to live.


By Russell Kahn

The News-O-Matic Impact: Experiencing the World


News-O-Matic celebrates its 1,000th edition on Friday, August 26. In order to celebrate, a group of teachers, parents, media experts, and kids contributed essays to describe the impact of News-O-Matic in their world.

Shelly Fryer is an elementary school teacher in Oklahoma.

Shelly Fryer (second from left) and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (second from right)

Shelly Fryer (second from left) and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (second from right)


Here’s what she had to say.

I have been using News-O-Matic with my 3rd and 4th grade students for two years. One of my goals as a teacher is to have my students experience the world beyond the walls of our classroom in a way that is interesting for them yet, exposes them to “real” issues. I want students to know that they matter and be able to connect with the stories that they are reading. The news section “Real Jobs” has given my class many opportunities to see jobs that people can do and allow the students to ask questions and be curious.

It even inspired several of our students to interview Governor Fallin when she came to visit our classroom and find out more about what it was like being the Governor of Oklahoma.

One of the ways that I use News-O-Matic in the classroom is to have them read and respond. Students read the articles that interest them and then respond by writing to “Russ” or drawing a picture of what inspires them. It is important for students to be able to connect in a real way and be able to have a voice by responding to what they read. Also, the connected videos and pictures allow students to see and experience the news in a way that makes sense to them.

As a teacher I appreciate that News-O-Matic is sensitive to the things that may be upsetting in the news, and use a Child Psychologist to make sure that the students are informed but not frightened by the current news. Students want to know about what is going on in the world, but it is also very important that they know that they are safe.

News-O-Matic has made a real difference in my classroom. Having current and engaging content which encourages students to “experience” the world around them and then have the ability to respond in a real way allows students to feel like they matter, and that their views and opinions are heard.

Students at Oklahoma's Positive Tomorrows speak with Governor Fallin

Students at Oklahoma’s Positive Tomorrows speak with Governor Fallin

The News-O-Matic Impact: Media!

News-O-Matic celebrates its 1,000th edition on Friday, August 26. In order to celebrate, a group of teachers, parents, media experts, and kids contributed essays to describe the impact of News-O-Matic in their world.

Cheryl Wills is the anchor for NY1 News in New York City. She has interviewed everyone from presidents to schoolchildren from her newsroom in New York City. Here’s what she had to say.

Cheryl Wills at her desk on NY1

Anchor Cheryl Wills at her desk on NY1

The current news is so important — perhaps now more than ever. There are two presidential candidates who will make history.

If Hillary Clinton wins the election in November, she would become the first U.S. woman president. If Donald Trump wins, he would become the first millionaire businessman — with no political or military experience — to hold the most powerful office in the world. Indeed, the world is watching. And the news media plays a critical role in how we view each candidate.

As a veteran television journalist, I’m so proud of News-O-Matic for giving students a platform to share your opinions. Your views are important — even if you are too young to vote. You are never too young to care about the direction of your nation.

There are also many pressing issues at hand. There is a vacancy on The Supreme Court. Whoever fills that seat will decide on laws for the future of America. The new president will likely get to decide who it is.

Guns are also a major issue. Can we control the use of guns in America? Should we? The Second Amendment allows for the right to bear arms. But many others want protection from violence. As a society, how do we weigh the rights and wishes of the people? You will have to help decide. But you must pay attention first!

These are just a few of the topics in classrooms across the country. The media plays a powerful role: The news can spark protests or create change. It’s so great to know that students like you are plugged in. You are future leaders, newsmakers, and voters. Be informed and stay informed!

Happy 1,000th Edition, News-O-Matic. And to all your readers, good luck in the new school year!

The News-O-Matic Impact: Roamschooler!

News-O-Matic celebrates its 1,000th edition on Friday, August 26. In order to celebrate, a group of teachers, parents, media experts, and kids contributed essays to describe the impact of News-O-Matic in their world.

Lilian Jochmann is a 6th Grade student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She traveled the world for a year as a News-O-Matic “roamschooler,” reporting on her adventures across the globe.

Lilian Jochmann, News-O-Matic Roamschooler

Lilian Jochmann, News-O-Matic Roamschooler

Here’s what she had to say.

School made me download the app on my iPad. Curious, I clicked on the little image of a yellow dog. That was the day I became hooked on News-O-Matic.

Over the next days, I read every article from the war in Syria to crazy pet stories to amazing kids around the world. One night at dinner, my parents were discussing some current event they read about in a mainstream newspaper. They were shocked when I chimed into their conversation and pointed out things they’d left out of the story.

They asked me how I knew about it, and I ran to get my iPad, showing them the app and article. Since then, my brother Gus and I have read the articles every day!

In fifth grade, our family decided roamschool, which is like packing school up in your suitcase. You homeschool while you travel. My friends were interested in learning about my adventures, so it sparked an idea. If they wanted to learn about where I went, other kids might want to too. I wrote Russ and asked him if I could write a couple articles for News-O-Matic that year. I was beyond ecstatic when he published my article, Roamschooler Around the World.

It was thrilling to hear kids write to Russ and draw pictures about my articles. From 2014-15, Russ published 8 of my articles on NOM! It so cool to be a part of the amazing news site that brought articles to kids!

When I visited New York on my roamschool adventure, I got the chance to visit Russ at the NOM News Room! I wanted to thank all the people who worked so hard to make NOM happen in person. I wrote a story for their blog, sat in on a meeting and even recorded a story for the “Read to Me” section! At the end, I got to go out for lunch with Russ! I loved it!

Even though I’m going on 13 and Gus is 10, we still read News-O-Matic daily. We learn about the election, the Olympics, Pokeman Go, and much more! This app makes us smarter and more interested in the world and I’ll always remember how much fun I had writing for it.


The News-O-Matic Impact: Empowering Kids

News-O-Matic celebrates its 1,000th edition on Friday, August 26. In order to celebrate, a group of teachers, parents, media experts, and kids contributed essays to describe the impact of News-O-Matic in their world.

5th grade class

Liana Rosenman is a 5th Grade NEST teacher at PS 19 Asher Levy public school in New York City. She uses News-O-Matic daily as a literacy and global studies resource in her classroom.

Here’s what she had to say.

For young children, current events can sometimes be scary or upsetting. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss the news, but we should find ways to overcome feelings of despair. It is helpful to give our students ways to feel more in control of the situation by doing something about it.

News-O-Matic has been that tool and has inspired my students to become superheroes. Not the kind that can run faster than a speeding bullet with x-ray vision, of course. My students are changing the world one act of kindness at a time.

For example, my class read the article about the Syrian Civil War anniversary on March 15, 2016. Even though the Syrian struggle was overwhelming, News-O-Matic guided us to take action and see change for children affected by the 5-year conflict.

The article gave suggestions on ways to help Syria through the Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms Challenge. Inspired by this idea, my 5th grade students made and mailed in dozens of pinwheels. For each pinwheel we mailed in, the Bezos Family Foundation donated $2 to the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classrooms program. They felt so empowered because they knew they were helping!

News-O-Matic gives my students the opportunity to give back and these are the things that can, directly or indirectly, have a ripple effect. It is changing our students, our communities, our nation and the world. It is helping to enlighten children, to broaden their experiences and worldviews, and to encourage them to do something in ways they can impact the world.

Thank you, News-O-Matic! Together we can touch the future and help children live remarkable lives!

Liana Rosenman

Can we accept that only 37% of high school students read at proficiency level?

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The latest results from the 2015 Nation’s Report Card were just released. They show that only 37% of high school students read at proficiency level, and more than 25% read below basic level…

We cannot accept this. We all know that the best way to increase kids’ reading level is to start as early as elementary school. There is a huge need to develop the love of reading and engage kids with reading. They just need to be offered the right content in the right format.

This once again reinforces the importance and the urgency of our mission here at News-O-Matic. News-O-Matic plays a major role in mitigating this situation early on by providing the most engaging daily news experience for a young audience. Already 200,000 kids read News-O-Matic every month.

About 18,700 students took the reading test organized by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

By Marc-Henri Magdelenat, Founder