Let's hear it for literacy


Staff writer

Carl Stavney is busy creating a newspaper advertisement for a very recognizable restaurant.

He’s creating it old-school, with paper, pencil and Crayons. Of course, he’s also in school.

Stavney, a third-grader at Silver Lake Elementary School, and his peers in teacher Carrie Munday’s GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) class have been working on advertisements for about two weeks as part of the Newspaper In Education (NIE) program.

NIE was created to promote literacy in students and introduce them to newspapers and get them in the habit of reading newspapers. The Mirror participates annually in the national program and provides newspapers and curriculum assistance to six classrooms. Six businesses also help with financial sponsorship of the program.

Munday’s students –– third through fifth –– graders - worked on advertisements that would be judged by 16 local businesses that paid for advertising space in a special section about Literacy Month in Federal Way, starting on page B1 of today’s Mirror. Winners will see their advertisements printed on pages B1 and B4.

“I really like doing this because I like to do art,” Stavney explained when asked if he enjoyed creating the advertisement.

While Stavney worked by himself, other students collaborated on the project. Several said they work on art projects at home.

The chance to work on art is a break for the students in her GATE program, Munday said. They are also excited to possibly see their names in the newspaper, she added.

The newspaper provides the paper, logos of the advertisers, their addresses and Web sites to the students, Mirror publisher Deb Kaufman said. Other than that, the rule is to let the kids’ imaginations go wild and not limit them, she explained.

The businesses that sponsored the NIE program are Puget Sound Energy, The Commons at Federal Way, Washington State Bank, Foundation House, Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565,

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