Who produces IndyKids?
How can my students write for IndyKids?
How do I know when a new IndyKids is released?
How can I pick up free copies of IndyKids?
Who funds IndyKids?
If IndyKids is free, why do I have to pay to have it delivered?
How is IndyKids different from other publications for kids?
How can I use IndyKids in the classroom when it is biased?
Some parents might get upset if I use IndyKids in the classroom. What should I do?
What can I do if I’m facing opposition to using IndyKids at school?
IndyKids is a non-profit organization. The newspaper, website and teacher’s guide are produced by a group of volunteer parents, kids, teachers, professionals, journalists and community activists. IndyKids has limited part-time staff that handles administrative tasks.
While IndyKids is produced in New York City, you do not have to be in New York City to volunteer. See the “Get Involved” section of the IndyKids website: www.IndyKids.org
IndyKids is looking for kids and adults to help write, edit, distribute the paper and do all kinds of tasks. Please fill out the form at http://IndyKids.net/main/get-involved/volunteer/ and get involved!
Kids are encouraged to write for IndyKids. Please read the detailed guidelines under the “Get Involved” heading of the IndyKids website: www.IndyKids.org
Especially for young kids, letters to the editor, movie and book reviews, bilingual essays and news briefs may be the best way to get your feet wet.
Sign up at www.IndyKids.org to receive and email notice each time a new issue is out. New print issues come out in early September, November, January, March and May. Online-only issues are out in early October, December, February, April and June.
Right now, IndyKids has limited distribution in the New York City area. Please see this list for locations where you can usually find free copies of IndyKids: http://IndyKids.net/main/get-IndyKids/pick-up-free-copies/
IndyKids is supported by individual donations and some foundation grants. IndyKids has no advertising or corporate sponsors.
The delivery fee pays for the cost of mailing IndyKids. This includes postage, mailing envelopes, labels, packing tape, printer ink, transportation from the printer and the rented space IndyKids uses to count and package the papers for mailing.
All costs to produce the paper, website and teacher’s guide are paid for by generous donations from individuals and foundations.
IndyKids is open that it is a progressive publication presenting an alternative point of view. In doing so, IndyKids often does in fact present the mainstream view and a contrasting alternative perspective. It is extremely rare for publications such as Time for Kids or Junior Scholastic to do this.
IndyKids makes an effort to present points of view generally not heard in the mainstream media. IndyKids gives space to the voices and issues of marginalized people such as kids, people of color, poor people, immigrants and issues of people in other parts of the world that rarely hear about in the mainstream news or in textbooks.
All news publications and all media children are exposed to come from a certain political perspective, whether they admit to it or not. Why not be upfront about these, compare publications and teach media literacy in your classroom?
Mainstream publications such as Time for Kids and Scholastic News are financed by corporate sponsors that promote their products and support the status quo. Furthermore, these publications present a view that is overwhelmingly favorable to the U.S. government and corporations while downplaying the opinions and the role of everyday people, including kids, in making change in their communities and the world.
While it is fine that all news publications to present a political perspective, it is questionable for school districts to spend public monies for Time for Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Scholastic News, Readers Digest and other mainstream publications while discouraging or not allowing IndyKids to be used in the classroom or to be displayed in the library. Educated citizens in a democracy need to hear the alternative perspectives presented in IndyKids.
The librarian at my school does not want to have IndyKids available for students because she says it is biased. What should I do?
Share the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights” which states: “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
It is the responsibility of public and public school libraries, which are funded with taxpayer money, to provide materials with a range of perspectives, not only those the librarian agrees with. Kids have a right to information.
It is the job of teachers and schools to teach kids to think critically, to be empathetic and to understand the points of view of different people. This is a part of the standards of most, if not all, K-12 curricula.
In class, try using articles on a topic from different publications and compare the perspectives put forward. What do students learn from each article? What kinds of people are quoted in the articles? What differing views does the reader learn from each article? Have students evaluate these and formulate their own opinions.
Well-known professor of education, Sonia Nieto, writes in her book, Affirming Diversity, “The pedagogy of effective teachers is empowering because rather than simply teach students blind acceptance of the inherent values of the dominant culture, these teachers encourage students to think critically and work actively for social justice.” IndyKids can help you do your job and be an effective teacher.
- Use the arguments put forward in these FAQs to advocate for your students’ right to hear different points of view and access information;
- Bring other publications into the classroom and use them in conjunction with IndyKids as teaching tools on media literacy and perspective. This is a good way to teach all media comes from a certain viewpoint. Teachers can help their students evaluate what is fact and opinion. A class can compare the issues various publications choose to put on their pages and who the writers choose to quote. A class can evaluate the different points of view in the articles and who is served by the perspective presented;
- Find other teachers and administrators who are open to different perspectives. Get to know them and be supportive of one another;
- Find other progressive educators in your area and form an organization or support group;
- Let IndyKids know about your experiences.