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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: 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

News-O-Matic Wins the World Young Reader Prize from WAN-IFRA

International judges from the WAN-IFRA award News-O-Matic the top prize in its highly competitive editorial category.


News-O-Matic, the Daily News Just for Kids, has won the coveted World Young Reader Prize from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). The annual award goes to innovative news publishers that have devised, in the judges’ opinion, the best project in the past 24 months in young reader development.

News-O-Matic is a leader in student engagement with current events. Young readers have submitted more than a million news comments, votes, and drawings, sharing their perspectives on stories from across the planet. Videos, photos, bilingual access, audio support, interactive maps, and a range of readability levels contribute to the students’ understanding of world events. Now WAN-IFRA has confirmed the significance of the news application’s impact on a global scale with its prestigious award.

“At last someone has done this!” wrote the jury on the panel. The news experts called News-O-Matic “A very complete, interactive daily news app for children with the capacity to produce content in versions that’s made right for different age levels and in two languages, plus an extensive program of engagement beyond the screen. Bravo!”

This award “is recognition for the way News-O-Matic has transformed the news experience for children,” said Editor-in-Chief Russell Kahn. “This tremendous achievement is a testament to the value we’re providing not only to the 1+ million boys and girls who have downloaded the app but also to the global news community as a whole. We’re inspiring a new generation to enjoy reading the news on a daily basis — and are empowered to get involved.”

News-O-Matic, founded in 2013, was one of three companies to receive the top World Young Reader Prize in the editorial category. The others included Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan (founded 1874, circulation 10+ million) and the South China Morning Post (founded 1903).

News-O-Matic will be awarded the WAN-IFRA prize on September 3 in Mumbai, India. The supporters for this year’s WAN-IFRA awards are SitesAlive Foundation, CCI, and Eram Group.

About News-O-Matic
News-O-Matic is the Daily News Just for Kids, a transformative nonfiction reading resource for school and home. It provides students with an exciting and engaging experience, giving young readers a window into the world — and a reason to love reading daily. The tool allows students to make connections in meaningful ways and gives them a voice to communicate with peers across the planet. Its users log in from more than 150 countries. The News-O-Matic app is available on iOS, Android, and Kindle, and soon on the Web.

About the WAN-IFRA Awards
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA, is the global organization of the world’s press, representing more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites, and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. This year’s awards are supported by SitesAlive, the news in education initiative linked to the Vendée Globe sailing race (for news in education); CCI, the Denmark-based editorial systems and innovation specialists (for editorial); and Eram Group, the multifaceted business conglomerate operating in the Gulf region, India, and Europe (for public service).

For more information about News-O-Matic, please contact Lillian Holtzclaw at Lillian(at)press4kids(dot)com.

Didi, age 11, sent us a drawing to express how he feels about Ebola.

Why Kids Need News about Ebola

The email from the Texas mother began innocently enough: “My daughter has enjoyed reading News-O-Matic for a few months now and I was initially quite pleased with it too.” But the word “initially” foretold a larger concern. “No matter how you might edit a news story about Ebola, I don’t want my young daughter reading about it,” the concerned parent explained.

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Why is nonfction reading important for kids?

Why is nonfiction reading important for kids?

On average, kids today spend less than 4 minutes a day reading nonfiction1. Yes, 4 minutes. What can you actually read in 4 little minutes? How much can you truly understand and feel comfortable talking about later?

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