Young students had the opportunity to create real newspaper advertisements as part of a collaboration between local schools, well-known area businesses and The Sampson Independent — and those ads are being unveiled today and later this week.
In observance of Newspaper In Education (NIE) Week, the Independent initiated the effort and is showcasing the best ads prepared by local students for businesses in Sampson and surrounding counties. Businesses sponsored a specific grade and those classes designed an 8.5-by-11 inch design for the businesses, which then selected the winners.
Students from L.C. Kerr, Butler Avenue, College Street Pre-K, Plain View Elementary, Roseboro Elementary, Hobbton Elementary, Union Elementary and Harrells Christian Academy created the ads for nearly a dozen businesses and local entities. Those students had a chance to see their drawings in the paper and win $10.
“We decided to celebrate NIE Week by bringing back the Class Ads that were a favorite among businesses a decade ago,” said Shannon Best, media director for the Independent. “This gives the children an opportunity to learn more about the local businesses and show their creativity.”
NIE Week, an initiative of the American Press Institute, recognizes the accomplishments of NIE programs across the country and around the world. It is celebrated annually during the first full school week in March. Every Tuesday, the Independent includes an NIE page in its edition and those Tuesday papers are delivered to every school in Sampson County, an effort that has happened for decades.
Susan Warren, central office administrator for Sampson County Schools, urged participation by the schools, calling the effort a great opportunity to pay homage to the businesses that support the schools so much.
“It is an opportunity to recognize and highlight our students in our local paper. Many of these businesses also support our schools so we need to try to support them,” Warren said.
It also could act to influence the children, get them to think creatively and even put them on a path to a profession.
L.C. Kerr School teacher Emily Colt thanked all those involved for “the wonderful opportunity.”
“Our students at L.C. Kerr enjoyed learning how art plays an important role in advertising,” Colt said. “We love being involved with the community and our students were able to make so many ‘real-world’ connections during the activity.”
Best recalled when she was a third grade student at College Street School and the impact winning the Independent’s contest had on her.
“I’m pretty sure when I saw my ad in the paper in 1988 for Southern States, that was when I decided I wanted to go into marketing,” Best attested.
Businesses participating in the NIE endeavor included Smith Tire, Clinton Appliance & Furniture, Clinton Parks and Recreation, JennaBugs Cafe, Sampson Regional Medical Center, Tires Inc., Matthews Cards and Gifts, Baggett’s Jewelry, South River EMC, James Trading Company and Simpson & Holland Appraisal.
“I was happy to participate,” said Bill Baggett, owner of Baggett’s Jewelry. “I was curious to see the children’s different perspectives on local businesses.”
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.