2002 Conference Proceedings

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A .com 4 YOU!

Jacquie Clark, M.A., CCC-SLP
News-4-You, Ltd.
P.O. Box 550
Huron, Ohio 44839

What motivates individuals to read more? What stimulates them to expand their worlds, and with it their social skills? Today, for many lower cognitive level students the sole motivator is functionality: those life and occupational skills, which the child will need to succeed in life. While this "meshing" emphasis is appropriate it does not have to totally dominate the teaching regime. News-4-You presents an alternative strategy.

An exclusively functional curriculum deprives students of the chance to expand their minds with new information that can make their lives more rewarding. Making beds, while a necessary skill set, does not lend itself to rewarding conversation with parents, peers or strangers. Students cannot expand their bank of knowledge when they are dealing exclusively with life skills. A current events news source, tailored to the special needs population does expand that knowledge bank plus helps to reinforce functional skills.

While it is true that students do hear the news on TV or radio, the format of most print and electronic media is too intense for most of our students to grasp. The content is too sophisticated for them to quickly grasp, and that fact precludes them from using the knowledge to expand their thinking and encourage conversation.

Enter News-4-You, the only internet newspaper service produced exclusively for the special needs classroom. Since its inception in 1998, News-4-You has proven to be a tool that teachers and therapists around the globe are using to augment their functional curriculums. News-4-You uses a symbols-supported text to discuss current events, a discussion which serves to expand, motivate and encourage a broader individual learning base.

Teachers report that News-4-You provides the core of weekly lesson planning, a core that is FULLY ACCOMPLISHED for them, a core that provides them the time to spend on individual needs and creative teaching approaches. Come see for yourself the many creative (and fun) ways News-4-You is being used in classrooms across the country to promote literacy, knowledge and enthusiasm.

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