Why We Love IndyKids!

See why kids, teachers, parents and community members love IndyKids!

“I like IndyKids because I get a chance to say what I think and learn journalism at the same time.” -Alexia, age 11, IndyKids Kid Reporter, New York, NY

“Getting involved with IndyKids has made me more involved in what is going on in the world that I live in.” -Shemar Wilson, age 13, IndyKids Kid Reporter, Brooklyn, NY

“I like IndyKids because there are a lot of stories in the paper that most people don’t pay attention to, and these stories are really important.” -Emerson Dudley, age 10, IndyKids Kid Reporter, Brooklyn, NY

“Getting involved with IndyKids has made me proud of myself because I am doing something more in my life. -Mariah, age 13, IndyKids Kid Reporter, Bronx, NY

“This paper gives kids a voice and that’s not what’s happening in our schools. Often, the curriculum in schools is not relevant to kids’ lives. IndyKids is about real issues that affect kids’ lives. There are real children asking real questions about real people.”
-Jylani Brown, parent of two kids, Brooklyn, NY

IndyKids is great because it teaches kids about writing and critical thinking too.”
-Orin Herskowitz, parent of two kids, Brooklyn, NY

“With the scripted curriculum we face, teachers are just looking for material like IndyKids. ”
-Bob Peterson
Rethinking Schools editor and President of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, former elementary school teacher

“As a former public school teacher, I think IndyKids is a valuable resource for children to be informed about and take an active interest in current events. It is important that at an early age, kids are engaged in world affairs and are encouraged to develop their own perspectives. Making this publication available to them will only strengthen our efforts to provide our children with a well-rounded education.”
-New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Queens)

“We wanted to let you know that our son, who is six, thinks the paper is terrific. Surrounded by children’s media that is vapid and commercial, and with nothing that talks with children about the world around them, we were so happy to find IndyKids.”
-Mara Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo, co-founders, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, Washington, DC

“Your paper has really got our son interested and active in many issues. He really wants hard copies of your paper for his research and to put in his little office/library. He is 10 and motivated and we want to keep the momentum going. He loves Amy Goodman from Democracy Now, but the topics can get too complicated for him. You hit it perfectly for his age. He gets it! Your issue about migrant farm workers lead him to watch a wonderful video (over and over) mentioned in the article and do lots of research.  He showed many kids that video and is planning a presentation. He decided that he could work on all the issues he is interested in by getting news out by making a local kids paper. The first edition is coming out this summer. We will send you a copy. Thanks for doing such a great job with the paper.”
-Barb Tomlinson, Baldwin, Kansas

“There’s nothing like IndyKids. There’s nothing like it. My daughter and her friends sit around the table discussing what they read in IndyKids. She’s 10.”
-Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), Washington, DC

“I have honestly never seen kids grabbing and so eager for copies of any newspaper, as they were that day [when some of their classmates were featured in IndyKids talking about why they wear a headscarf]. Every 7th and 8th grader was begging me for copies, and you should have seen them: standing in hall, papers open, reading aloud and pointing things out to one another. Thanks again for letting my students get involved. I think it was huge for many of the young people at our school to see their classmates’ voices honored and amplified.”
-Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, 7th grade teacher
Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, South Bronx, New York City

“For teachers who want to introduce a variety of perspectives in their classroom, IndyKids is an invaluable resource. IndyKids is unlike virtually all other reading material for the elementary classroom- it is progressive, timely, well written and gives students a voice.”
-Bree Picower, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Montclair State University (NJ) and leader of the New York Collective of Radical Educators

“Our students want an issue re: animal rights, space travel, adoption/foster care. You guys are so awesome! Our newspaper staff loves IndyKids!”
-Kelly Overton, librarian at Bronx Academy of Letters, Bronx, NY

IndyKids has transformed our teaching. Thank you so much for existing.”
–Sharon Kramer, 6th grade teacher, New Jersey

IndyKids is great for me because I want to learn about different things happening around the world. But every time I watch the news or read the newspaper the way that they explain it is so complicated. My favorite article is the one in issue #18 about a student who pretended to buy some land in Utah to save it from oil and gas industry.”
–Julian Rocha, age 10, Vancouver, Canada

“I’ve been reading IndyKids for years. I love it! I understood the housing and mortgage mess from reading IndyKids.”
–Marge Dakouzlian, age 50, a chef in New York City

“I use IndyKids to present information to [my students] about issues affecting children worldwide that they haven’t heard of before. The students, especially middle schoolers, love to have a copy of a paper for themselves to use in class and behavior on the days the paper comes in is generally very good.”
–Anne Bowles, Teacher, Harlem, New York

“My students look forward to IndyKids. They usually bug me about when the next issue will be out. IndyKids has really made teaching current events a lot easier. The kids are finally motivated to read, and more importantly, to discuss and get active.”
–John Yanno, 6th grade teacher, Brooklyn, New York

“Your newspaper for young people is amazing! We were able to use this wonderful resource with our eighth grade students for the past two summers as they prepared to enter high school. … The newspaper articles were a source of high-level discussion, allowing the students to see that other young people were making a difference in their communities. The articles encouraged several of our student groups to actually implement their projects within the four short weeks of our program.”
–Chris Johnson, Teacher, GEAR UP Chicago

IndyKids is among the most important pieces of literature that I distribute. Usually it is the only piece of educational material that is actually written with children in mind and the only substantive material that demonstrates our sincere interest in reaching out to young people. Adults read it as much as young people. Through IndyKids, we are providing a way for the adults at our meetings to connect to the children and grandchildren in their own homes.  Often I hear people say how much the child in their life enjoyed an earlier issue and that the content of IndyKids was inter-generational dinner table conversation.”
–Kenneth Miller, co-founder of the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance

IndyKids is an extremely valuable resource to me and my students as it is one of the only media sources that shows an alternative viewpoint to the mainstream that is readable for an elementary student. As an educator I believe it is important to expose young people to under-represented issues and voices, as it sets them up to view the world through a critical eye beyond the classroom. My colleagues and myself often use IndyKids as a jumping off point to launch full scale units on social justice issues or simply integrate it into mandated topics we have to teach to breath life into the curriculum. Teaching with a resource like IndyKids that highlights social justice issues allows young people to feel true ownership over what they are being asked to learn, because the issues of inequality, injustice, and human rights are relatable and meaningful to them. My students respond better to this type of resource and teaching than any other I have explored, which any educator knows is a testament of worth that cannot be ignored.”
–Daniel Hildreth, 5th grade teacher, New York City

“The IndyKids election 2008 offerings were great; very helpful in the class I taught on media and electoral coverage.”
–Judith Killen, Teacher, New York City

“[In my classroom] we do shared reading once a week. Students pick articles they think are interesting in the paper. One student reads the article aloud while the rest follow along. Then we discuss the article. Usually the kids are so excited that we only have time for one article in a 45 minute period.”
–Stephanie Schwartz, Teacher, New York City

“Keep doing all you do–it continually brings new perspectives into my classroom!”
– Cassandra Lyhus, Teacher, New York City

” Every time I read an article it’s like I’m there. I don’t have to struggle to understand you, it’s loud and clear. It’s also very powerful and catchy, it sends the message right to you. I love your newsletter and I encourage you to write them more often.”
– Sofija Mancic-Vuletic, 10, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa

Even though IndyKids’ audience is young, with an average age of 10 and 11, they are still able to speak their minds and to become active in their communities. For example, Agnes Johnson, an IndyKids supporter and community activist in the Bronx, New York City, told IndyKids about how the 1st to 5th grade kids she works with in the Highbridge community, in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, have become active in response to reading articles in IndyKids.

Based on IndyKids’ coverage the 2008 election (late 2008) and of the incoming Obama administration (Jan/Feb 2009), the kids Agnes works with wrote letters to President Obama stating what they think he should do as president. They also took a greater interest in voting. They followed the November 2009 New York City mayoral election and got people of voting age in the community to make a pledge that they would vote.

Says Agnes, “I ask they kids how they feel about what they read in IndyKids. We read the cover story about children’s rights and the article about children working in agriculture [Jan/Feb 2010]. I ask ‘Imagine having to do that!’ They are amazed that this would be the life of the child. A lot of the kids, especially the girls, say, ‘Why is this going on?’ ‘We have to do something about this now!’” In this case, the kids created a petition directed at their elected officials to demand stronger laws to protect child farmworkers.

The story “Does Your Food Have Cooties?” (March 2009, about how lax government regulation has led to food contamination), inspired a group of six kids to become active in the Taqwa Community Farm in their neighborhood. The group has now grown to a dozen kids who participate in the project and work every Saturday from 2-4pm growing food.

Do you love IndyKids?  Let us know!