A few weeks ago, my son Miles saw News-O-Matic’s spooky story contest and decided to write his own entry. This week, we found out that he won. It was especially rewarding to see Miles’s story illustrated and published in the News-O-Matic Halloween edition. However, it took some hard work to get the story ready to submit, so we thought we’d write together about the process.
What do children know about the United Nations? If you’ve been to an elementary school classroom lately, you know the answer is “not much” (if anything). Given the value that the organization brings to the human race, that’s quite unfortunate.
Monday of week six working at Press4Kids, and the countdown to the end has officially begun. I can’t believe how fast these weeks have gone be; it seems like yesterday that I was walking in circles around the subway entrance trying to find the office. For a while I felt like a fraudulent New Yorker. I had the address and the job, but that’s all I could claim. Now it’s a different story – I’m finally used to the humidity that ruins my hair on a daily basis, the constant people watching in the subway on my morning commute, and the pungent fragrance of trash on the streets at night.
School’s almost out! As days get longer, children all around the country are eagerly waiting for the summer break to come. But did you know that on average, American children lose one month of their math and reading skills during the summer?Make sure your children read this summer, or they could lose grade-level equivalency.
The stats are out, and they are stunning: 54% of parents plan to spend money on tech gifts for their kids for the holiday season, according to a November 2013 PBS Kids and ORCInternational survey. 28% of them will purchase a tablet, compared to only 18% who will buy a videogame console.
Tablets have become, within a few years, the most wanted gift by kids in America. While they were once considered a grownup product, our little ones quickly understood the potential of these devices — and so did their designers. But if it might seem simple to purchase a tablet for your kid — putting aside the expense, of course — filling it with content can be quite a challenge. There are all sorts of kid apps out there; which ones are appropriate?
While choosing apps for your kid, you might want to look for those that combine educational and entertaining content. While we all understand the point of educational apps, it’s important to pick applications that will make learning engaging and fun. Otherwise, your child won’t use them. That’s why it’s helpful to download apps that you can test before spending your money. A lot of apps seem terrific from their App Store descriptions, when their features are actually limited.
Be careful to purchase apps that are completely safe for your children. Advertising, external links, or unwanted pop-ups present a risk for inappropriate content and an unsafe experience for your child.
A good app can have positive effects on your children, including an increased vocabulary and a spark in their creativity. But a bad app can have damaging consequences, such as exposing your children to harmful or simply useless content.
By Alice Bouis – Marketing Manager
News-O-Matic, The Daily News App For Kids
Get your kids to read daily and actually enjoy it!
Kids Rule the Kitchen (published in News-O-Matic on Friday, September 27, 2013)
Kids talk to News-O-Matic about their cooking show on TV!
Step aside, grown-ups: It’s time for kids to rule the kitchen! This Friday, kids will compete for $100,000 on a new cooking show on TV called MasterChef Junior! The competition is for young cooks between 8 and 13 — with famous chef Gordon Ramsay as a judge. News-O-Matic spoke with two contestants from the show, Sarah, 9, and Gavin, 10.
“When I first met [the judges], I was a little bit afraid — but also really excited,” said Gavin. Gordon Ramsay is known for being tough and yelling a lot. But on MasterChef Junior, the judges show their softer side. Sarah shared, “I like all of them, but my favorite is probably Gordon.”
MasterChef Junior is not about the judges but about encouraging the talented young chefs. “It’s okay to make mistakes and stuff,” said Sarah about the show in Los Angeles. “You learn from just moving on.” Gavin added, “I learned some awesome techniques on how to make your dish and really improved.”
The young chefs competed in cooking challenges and learned to cook restaurant dishes. Sarah learned how to make beef tortellini, while Gavin had to make beef Wellington. “I’ve never heard of it before,” Gavin shared. “And once they showed it to me, I was like, ‘OMG it looks so hard’ — and it was really hard.”
These tiny chefs discovered what it takes to be masters. As judge Graham says about being a great chef, “Age is nothing but a number.”
By Gilmarie Brioso
competition: contest; tournament
contestants: people who take part in a competition or contest
beef tortellini: a beef and pasta dish
beef Wellington: a beef dish
FACT: MasterChef Junior will be on Fox every Friday night at 8:00 P.M. ET (7:00 P.M. CST).
ACT: To be a great chef, “You have to focus on your dish,” says Gavin. “It has to be the main thing that you’re working on.”
Bullying has become a big problem in schools today. Because of this, the News-O-Matic team has decided to share today’s article on bullying.
A Bully-Free Year (published in News-O-Matic on Tuesday, September 3, 2013)
Start the year right by learning how to deal with bullying in school.
Bullying is a huge problem. Three out of four students admit to being bullied! News-O-Matic wants all students to live in bully-free zones. Here are our tips to help you create one.
If you are being bullied, tell someone — a parent, a teacher, or even an older sibling or cousin. “One of the worst things you can do is … keep it to yourself,” warns Phyllis Ohr, a child psychologist. Your school should know about a bully so it can address the problem.
Never be alone with a bully.
When do you find yourself one-on-one with the bully? Avoid those times! Bring a friend along, or find other routes to your destination.
“Learn how to ignore the bully,” Ohr says. Bullies want attention; don’t give it to them.
Practice makes perfect.
Try practicing ahead of time. Have a friend or parent pretend to be a bully while you practice ignoring him or her. Brainstorm ways to avoid being alone with the bully. You can even practice the words for telling a teacher.
Help your school create a bully-free world.
Do your part by being kind. Better yet, encourage your school to reward kindness — not just punish bullying. “Fill up buckets with acts of kindness,” Ohr suggests. When the bucket is full, the class earns a prize.
By Abigail Mieko Vargus
sibling – brother or sister
destination – place you are heading to
ignore – pay no attention to
Brainstorm – make a list of all ideas
FACT: Bullying isn’t just hitting. A bully can also use mean words, text messages, or even online pictures. Don’t wait until someone hits you before you tell.
ACT: Make a list of ways that your school can encourage kindness. Present the list to your teacher or principal, and ask if your school can do one of them.