Kid Scoop helps parents and first-generation children learn English

Mar 4, 2021


In the small town of Astoria, Oregon, where Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery encountered the Pacific Ocean, the residents live primarily off the sea. The population of under 10,000 has drawn fishermen from around the world. Many of the workers are new to the English language. Their catch feeds the town’s large fish–processing plants.

During the 21 years the Daily Astorian has been publishing Kid Scoop, teachers in the school district incorporated the Kid Scoop page into daily classroom lesson plans. The children used the Kid Scoop page in class, then would take it home.

“The school district reported to us that the parents themselves were using the page at home,” Jeremy Feldman, circulation and marketing director at the Astorian, said. “The vocabulary is easy, and the page is so colorful that parents found it enjoyable. In addition, they learn about science and history in the United States, right along with their children.”

The Astorian is published Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and has a loyal group of 23 Kid Scoop sponsors who commit to six months or a year.

“We’ve had 18 or 20 repeat donors for years,” Feldman said.

Last spring when the pandemic closed classrooms, Feldman made arrangements to send the 300 papers that were destined to schools directly to the homes of the children. The parents who were lacking in English skills now are seeing the complete newspaper. Parents and children can work together on the word searches and puzzles that relate to other sections of the paper beyond the Kid Scoop page.

“In June, we saw digital and print growth just based on Kid Scoop,” Feldman reported. The paper has 4,000 subscribers, with 80% print and 20% electronic edition.

Feldman has worked with four different newspapers, all of which publish Kid Scoop. “We couldn’t create this youth feature in-house — that’s a huge undertaking for our very small staff. We all wear several hats. Having Kid Scoop ready to drop in the paper makes it so easy.”

To learn more about Kid Scoop, contact Dan “Patio” Dalton at 909-793-9890.

Ellen Creane is a freelance reporter for newspapers, an ESL college instructor, a former NIE manager at three newspapers, and a marketing communications professional. To reach her for your project: Also, see her Linked In profile.