Thursday, June 6, 2013

Who Reads the Newspaper?

I had just returned from an evening walk with my black lab. On my way up the driveway, I picked up the current edition of the local community newspaper and joined my husband and my daughter on the couch to settled in and see what issues were of importance and what events were coming up in my town.

My daughter looked over and exclaimed, "Mom, who reads the newspaper? There's this thing called the internet."

A sign of the times I guess. My pre-teen is hooked in to all things digital. I am quite the technology user myself. But news is my business. With the decline in the newspaper business in recent years, there is still a lot of value in all things local as presented in the community paper.

While I am connected via Facebook and eNews alerts to my local Patch, there is a deeper connection I get by reading the paper and seeing the pictures.

My evening reading informed me of the issues, pro and con, my neighbors had concerning the
location/proposed relocation of the community dog park; the state Supreme Court was hearing issues about the constitutionality of a local school board removal; two enterprising teens had conducted a week-long day camp for local kids; and a columnist had advice for ridding slugs from our garden. My husband checked out the local sports teams, want ads and items for sale in the community, sharing interesting tidbits with us as he read.

Little of this would be reported on in our big city paper. These are issues important to the town we live in. Knowing about them gives us a sense of place and belonging. I realized that as parents, we are challenged more than any other time in history to instill an interest in reading books, magazines and newspapers with our children. As a result of this exchange with my daughter, I will be more thoughtful in giving my her and her siblings opportunities to learn to appreciate the newspaper and develop a love of reading! Off to the local library to get our card (we moved to the county recently and had not gotten our new library cards yet) and begin our summer reading program!

How do you instill a love of reading in your children?