The New York Times set up the first formal Newspapers in Education (NIE) program in the 1930’s. The popular program soon spread across the country. Reading an “adult medium” like newspapers challenges students to develop reading, speaking and critical thinking skills. Students can relate and identify with the detailed school news and sports coverage in The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. The feature stories tell of interesting people and activities in and around the communities the students live in. The closer to home a story is, the more relevant it is to students’ lives and the more motivation to read.
The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander are really history books that are updated weekly. And they are free to Hancock County teachers that request them for classroom use. The American and Islander NIE newspapers are paid in part by sponsorships of local businesses and subscribers.