Farewell, My Weekly Reader   13 comments

Okay let’s start off with a pop quiz. What do the following have in common?


Palisades Park

Nabisco Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

Horn & Hardart ‘s Automat

The Winky Dink TV Show

Super Coola


And the correct answer is:  They don’t exist any more.  But once upon a time they were (as Julie Andrews would sing) some of my favorite things.

I was saddened to hear another piece of my childhood is about to vanish, and it’s probably part of yours too. Remember My Weekly Reader?   If you’re of “a certain age” you do. If not, you still remember it, but you knew it as Weekly Reader. The My was dropped from the title sometime in the 70’s.

Anyone out there over 100? You knew it as Current News, the original title when it was first published in 1902 for high school students. In 1928, an elementary school version was added and that’s when  My Weekly Reader came into being

At its peak, the newspaper was read by two thirds of all elementary school students and reached 13 million readers across its pre-school to twelfth grade readership. But with current budgets being cut, fewer schools are subscribing. Subscriptions, which had been up around one million in 1990  dropped to below 650,000 last year. And so, Reader’s Digest who owned the publication and had been undergoing serious problems as it was, accepted the price offered them by Scholastic, the publishers of Scholastic Magazine and the Harry Potter books.

As for Scholastic, they plan to continue publication  but My Weekly Reader will only be a subtitle  appear under the banner Scholastic News. In addition to a paper edition, they are promising a digital version.

A digital version!? Now doesn’t that make you want to cry?

  • Digital!? How can  the teacher distribute the newspapers to the first child in each row with the instructions to  “take one and pass the rest back”?
  •  Digital!? How can you smooth the paper down on your desk and lean over to sniff it – just for the hell of it.
  • Digital!” After you’ve read the front page with its “hard news” stories how can you turn the page and carefully fold it back, pressing the center crease before  reading page two.

This is  how I read my news:

News that made me feel like a big girl

News that taught me Civics

News that Kept Me Abreast of Current Events

Unfortunately, not all the news was good.

Do you have any Weekly Reader memories? If you do, I’d love to hear them. That’ what the comments section is for.


13 responses to “Farewell, My Weekly Reader

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  1. Well, at least I can still buy NECCO wafers at RiteAid.

  2. Strange, we’re the same age and grew up only a few miles apart, but sometimes have such different memories and experience. I remember Horn & Hardart and Palisades Park because of visiting both as an adult, but none of the others, not even a reader, weekly or otherwise. But I’ll match my Mallomars against your cookies any day!

  3. What a flashback this post was! I remember the excitement I felt when I got My Weekly Reader in grade school. It was a great introduction into the world of news and newspaper. Thanks for bringing it all back.

  4. Two things about the Weekly Reader: 1)They arrived all rolled up in brown paper and had to be separated; I, as a marvelous student, had the “honor” of being chosen to separate them!
    2) In about 1950, I read in My Weekly Reader that the population of Whooping Cranes was down to around 39. So when I retired in 1996, I took a boat trip out of Rockport, TX to see the Whooping Cranes, which by then were making a nice comeback. Last week I went to the International Crane Foundation, in Baraboo, WI, where I saw 2 more Whooping Cranes.

    • And I as a marvelous teacher also got to unroll them. I never thought to ask a marvelous student. But then, you weren’t in my class. and I mean that – imagine being inspired and keeping that inspiration for a lifetime. Mah-vel-us, darling. Mah-vel- us.

  5. I’d actually forgotten about Weekly Readers! A blast from the past 🙂

  6. no memories of weekly reader, but I remember Scholastic…only vaguely though. What I remember that I think is gone are those candy gum cigarettes! You blow through them and a puff comes out the end. Man were those cool. You could only get a couple puffs out (of what I assume now to be sugar dust), and then there was no more left. So you had to chew the gum. Of course I can imagine why those aren’t sold anymore, but man, those were the days!

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