Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online

Spring 2006 Website
Ages: 8 - 14 yrs.
Author: Donna Carrillo
By: Steven Ehrenberg
By: Suzanne Freeman
Photographer: Stav Birnbaum
Producer: Kristen Cruzen
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Review:
Scholastic's news hub rounds up the biggest national and international news stories and re-presents them in a relevant new context in language that kids will grasp. Major news stories are mixed with timely Special Reports from the world of science, history, politics, sports, and entertainment. (The latter two also have their own news sections on the site). These stories are not watered down—the facts are all there. They are, however, presented in a safe and educational format without hype, sensationalism, or scare tactics.

Users can respond to the items they read about through the weekly “Vote Now!” poll by casting a vote online or phoning it in. Don’t miss listening to kids’ comments from the previous week’s question—an insightful two-minute audio montage that uses Real Player. A toll-free hotline lets newshounds call in a news report about their own community.

Equally impressive is the Kids Press Corps aspect of the site—a group of 50 grade school and middle school reporters who cover nationwide news topics for Scholastic News Online. Some even flew to Torino to report on the Winter Olympics!

Scholastics News could incorporate some news video clips to make the site more multimedia rich. But with news items posted daily, the coverage and presentation are top-notch. Consider setting this site as your child’s homepage, so she will get a quick dose of news before she starts surfing. The site also links to Scholastic’s Homework Hub and the Yahooligans search tool.

Robin Raskin   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Robin Raskin, the former Editor in Chief of FamilyPC, is an Internet safety authority and a writer who speaks to parents and teachers across the country about raising digital kids. Her newest book, A Parent’s Guide to College Life is published Random House. Visit Mrs. Raskin's website at: Robin Raskin


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