Students in Candace Kluba's class at Campbellton Elementary love using the newspaper to learn.

The first ladies are coming back and so are a few more famous Missouri journalists.

They’ll be joined by the Gashouse Gang (a nickname for the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals team), leaders of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and people involved in bringing down the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Readers also will meet Dred Scott, Auguste Choteau, Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder) and, local man, Daniel Boone.

You’ll find them all right here, in your Missourian as part of the Missourian In Education program that provides newspapers free of charge for area teachers to use in their classrooms.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a student to learn something from these features. They will appear weekly in your Missourian from September through May for readers of all ages to enjoy with even more content to extend the learning available online.

Teachers who would like to use the newspaper in their classroom can still sign up for the program. Visit

Delivery of classroom newspapers will begin Monday, Sept. 8, with copies of the Sept. 6-7 issue.

Teachers can sign up for the Missourian In Education program anytime throughout the year, but they have to sign up by Sept. 3 to receive papers Sept. 8.

Weekly News Quiz

One of the most exciting additions to the Missourian In Education program this year is a weekly news quiz that will be available for students to take online about stories that appeared in the previous weekend newspaper.

Dawn Kitchell, Missourian educational services director, said the quiz is a great way for students to check their news IQ. It’s an activity they can do on their own at home or at school. They can submit their answers as an individual or as a class.

“We wanted to give young readers a way to interact with the news and also a way to work on their comprehension skills,” said Kitchell.

Students will find the quiz online at each Monday morning and they will have until Thursday afternoon to complete it and submit their answers. The quiz will be brief, between five and 10 questions, all asking about stories relevant to students that appeared in the previous weekend paper.

“There will be questions about things that are important to kids,” said Kitchell. “We probably won’t ask them about what happened at the city council meeting, but if there is a story about something a school district is doing that will impact kids, that’s what we want them to read about and understand.

“There will be questions from the youth features we publish for kids, sports stories, People features, photos, even editorials and advertisements — questions that will pull them through the paper to discover what’s inside and connect them to what is going on in our communities.”

A prize will be awarded each week to a randomly selected student or class who had all of the answers correct.

The first news quiz will be posted Monday, Sept. 15.

Reading Challenge and More

To kick off the program, a special reading incentive created by the International Reading Association and NASA that encourages kids to read 60 seconds more a day for 60 days will be featured in the Sept. 6-7 issue (delivered to classrooms Sept. 8).

Kitchell has created 20 newspaper activities on different age levels so kids can start their 60-second challenge.

That will be followed by a Constitution quiz (Sept. 13-14 issue) that readers of all ages can take.

“The quiz will be printed in the paper, so readers can figure out their Constitution IQ,” said Kitchell.

A series of three features focusing on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will begin in the Sept. 20-21 issue.

And children’s author Mike Curato, whose book, “Little Elliott, Big City,” is a September Book Buzz Pick, will be in Washington Sept. 29 for presentations at a local school that afternoon and at the Washington Public Library at 7 p.m.

Last year’s series on famous Missouri journalists was so popular, that it is being continued this year with four more — Walter Williams, Lucile Bluford, Mary Paxton Keeley and Walter Cronkite. That series will begin in the Oct. 4-5 issue.

“These Missourians all have amazing stories,” Kitchell said. “Walter Williams founded the world’s first school of journalism at University of Missouri; Lucile Bluford was turned away from that school because of her color and Mary Paxton Keeley was the first woman to graduate from that school. Walter Cronkite was a newspaper journalist who became one of the first broadcast journalists on American television.”

A feature about the fall of the Berlin Wall will be included in the Nov. 1-2 issue. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the wall coming down Nov. 9, 1989, that led to Germany being reunified.

A series on Great American Lives featuring Daniel Boone, Dred Scott, Auguste Choteau, Rose Wilder Lane and Susan Maggofin will begin in the Nov. 15-16 issue.

“If there is a common thread running through our program this fall, it’s sharing stories about great Missourians we all should know about,” Kitchell said. “Hopefully, it will be an inspiring way to wrap up 2014.”

Reading Across Missouri

A serial story on the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals team, known as the “Gashouse Gang,” will begin in January as the annual Read Across Missouri project that encourages all Missourians to read the same story at the same time. Carolyn Mueller, who wrote “Lily, a True Story of Courage and the Joplin Tornado” and was last year’s guest speaker at Family Reading Night, will be the series’ author.

As part of Women’s History Month in March, the series on America’s first ladies that began in The Missourian last school year will return, picking up where it left off and featuring the next 12 first ladies.

Kitchell said she had such overwhelming positive feedback on last year’s series, from young and older readers alike.

“Last year we featured the first presidential wife, Martha Washington, through Peggy Taylor, whose husband, Zachary Taylor, served only one year of his term before dying of typhoid fever.

“This year’s series will begin with Abigail Filmore, first lady to President Millard Filmore, who originated the White House Library and amassed a personal collection of more than 4,000 volumes.”

The series was created by the Joplin Globe, which produced a full-page feature on each first lady. The Globe donated the series to the Missouri Press Foundation to share with other Missouri papers.

“Eventually, we’ll get through all 42 of the first ladies,” Kitchell said, but it will take us a few years.”

Returning Favorites

Run to Read, the annual fundraiser that benefits the Y Literacy Council and other local literacy efforts, will be held this year Saturday, Oct. 11, beginning at the Washington Public Library.

The Washington High School cross country team will partner in the event this year and handle capturing the time for each runner, and Coach Michael Olszowka said the team looks forward to sharing the message with kids that running and reading can go hand-in-hand.

“The great thing about the Run to Read event for many of our kids is that it combines two of their passions, running and learning,” Coach Olszowka said.

“The Washington cross country team routinely carries a 3.5-3.9 team GPA. We have a great love for academics and books, many of our bus rides entail kids reading.

“Our kids love this event because they believe that it puts them into a position where they can show young runners, kids, that being a strong student, a strong reader, and a successful athlete all are not just possibilities, but realities,” said Coach Olszowka, “and there is some place where they are not just accepted, but sought after.”

Family Reading Night is set for March 6 at Washington Middle School. Watch The Missourian for more details on the guest speaker and theme.

The Missourian’s fifth annual regional spelling bee, The Bee, will be held March 21 at East Central College. And Kitchell’s already planning The Missourian’s summer reading program, which will begin in May.

Teacher Resources

STEM — which stands for science, technology, engineering and math — is the hot buzz word in education these days, and The Missourian is a great resource for teachers who want to focus on it.

A resource guide for how to use the newspaper to teach the skills of STEM will be available in September.

Kitchell also hopes to add an Idea of the Week on the website that highlights how local teachers are using the newspaper in their classrooms.

For years teachers have emailed her photos and details of creative ways they used the paper, and now she hopes to share them online where other teachers can read about it to get new ideas or to reinforce their enthusiasm for the program.

Online teachers will find an updated guide on using the newspaper to meet language arts standards, a monthly science feature from NASA, access to the Newspaper In Education Institute’s more than 300 instructional resources, the Missourian In Education Facebook page which offers book giveaways each month to followers, and the MOBooks blog which has daily posts featuring book reviews by local readers, including area teens, and all the latest book news.

For more information on the Missourian In Education program, teachers can email Kitchell at or call 636-932-4301.

The Missourian In Education program is offered at no cost to area teachers, not because the program is cost-free, Kitchell said, but because it is funded by The Missourian and many generous local businesses that care about literacy and education.

To sign up to have classroom newspapers delivered for your students at no cost to your school, teachers can go online to or watch for order forms arriving in school mailboxes this week.