Okay let’s start off with a pop quiz. What do the following have in common?
Nabisco Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies
Horn & Hardart ‘s Automat
The Winky Dink TV Show
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.