Values: Positivity, Hope, Kindness, Compassion, Strength and Empathy.
I have been patiently waiting to do this blog post since last week as I wanted to feature the latest edition. It dropped through my letter box yesterday and I spent a happy hour looking at all the positive news from the last three months.
Emily Coxhead began writing and publishing The Happy Newspaper 'to celebrate all that's good in the world' and it most certainly does that. I have had my subscription for the past couple of years and always take it into school after reading it myself. Sometimes we read articles together as a class and sometimes I cut them out and leave them around the classroom for children to discover and enjoy. The children love it! It isn't a newspaper designed specifically for children, but it's colourful interface, child-friendly captions and illustrations make real-life news really appealing.
Positivity is the Value that shines through every page of this newspaper. When there are difficult times in the world, it can be very uplifting to show children all of the good, kind things that are happening and you could even ask them to research and create their own happy news article for a class/school version. What I particularly like are the hand-drawn illustrations and facts that are very accessible. In the last edition, Emily included a fact about a group of butterflies being called a kaleidoscope. I actually shared that during one of my online videos for my class (who were not at school due to Covid-19) and had some really positive responses. Some of my most reluctant readers like looking at The Happy Newspaper as they can dip into short articles that capture their interest rather than being overwhelmed by a whole book.
Every issue of the newspaper has a unique theme to tie the news stories together. This September the theme is Strength and this is why the newspaper ties so beautifully to Values teaching. Whatever the theme is, it can be a basis for an assembly or a circle time discussion or even a dinner table conversation. Reading the articles and discussing with children why it demonstrates this Value can be a way of making Values 'real'. In this issue, some of the stories include: Marcus Rashford getting free school meals for children; 9-year-old receives award for hand-washing machine in Kenya; Costa Rica legalises same-sex marriage; and how llamas are helping to fight Covid-19. What a varied and interesting range of topics to discuss in class or at home!
Another favourite part of the newspaper is the Everyday Heroes section where people can write to Emily and nominate someone who should be featured for their hand work, kindness or compassion. It is so inspirational to read of others going above and beyond for those around them, and brings to life the Values of hope and empathy. Equally, the Campaigns and Charities page spread details 'people doing good who need your support.' It can be really interesting to look up these charities with children and discuss what they are doing to make the world a better place.
Last week, Emily announced her Happy News for Schools initiative. She said: “I believe that children deserve to be hearing about the good stuff going on in the world and not constantly surrounded by terror and fear. I want to encourage and inspire children to find their own happy news and look for the kindness in their schools and communities“. You can find out more about how Emily is planning on giving free newspapers to schools across the UK from December 2020 onwards here - https://thehappynewspaper.com/education/
If you follow Emily on Twitter (@HappyNewspaper_) or other social media platforms, she exudes joy and happiness. She finds light, kindness and hope in the world and shines it so that we can all celebrate it, and this is why The Happy Newspaper always has a place on my Values bookshelf. In fact, it is not in very good condition after a week or so as lots of little hands like to have a read!
Use the hashtags to identify my reviews of books on this blog that also contain these Values: