The Week Junior: The Power of Reading
We’re thrilled to bring you a blog post today from Andrea Barbalich, editor-in-chief of The Week Junior, a newsmagazine for children. Through the generous donations of The Week Junior, RIF has been able to provide free print and online subscriptions bringing news, current affairs, and powerful content to the families we serve. Read on to learn about why Andrea believes in the power of reading, especially through The Week Junior.
As the editor-in-chief of The Week Junior, a weekly newsmagazine for children ages 8-14, my mission is to help young people make sense of the world while also inspiring a lifelong love of reading. Nothing brings me greater joy in my role than receiving letters from kids who tell me (and show me through the photos they send!) how much they love reading the magazine.
This month, we’re celebrating our 100th issue—an incredible milestone for us! It’s also National Reading Month. To mark both occasions, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned from the amazing children who read The Week Junior.
- Reading is powerful—and empowering. It improves cognitive skills, boosts imagination and empathy, and opens up the world to children, among other benefits.
- It’s important to read for pleasure, not just to complete a homework assignment or fill a reading log. One of the reasons kids love The Week Junior so much is that it’s a treat for them—something special that comes to their home with their name on it.
- Parents tell us they leave it out on the counter and watch the magic happen.
- Representation is vital. Children must be able to see themselves in the materials they read. Local librarians are an incredible resource for recommending books that feature children of all backgrounds, abilities, and experiences.
- Children’s book authors are heroes and role models to kids. We hear this loud and clear each week when we publish a Q&A with a middle-grade author and give away copies of our Book of the Week, as well as during our annual Summer of Reading campaign, when we work with well-known authors to bring the excitement of reading to kids. We’ve found that learning more about an author or illustrator can further engage kids in reading.
- Children will read more and enjoy it more if they choose their own reading material. Fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, comic strips, magazines—they’re all good! The list of 100 middle-grade books we’ve compiled for our 100th-issue celebration is packed with ideas. It’s available to everyone at theweekjunior.com/activities.
As we celebrate the power of reading this month, we’re proud to have RIF as a partner. We’ve given away thousands of copies of The Week Junior to children who participate in RIF programs, and the feedback we’ve received has been gratifying. This collaboration is one important way we achieve our mission of fostering a passion for reading among as many children as possible.