After almost 80 years, it was time for a makeover.
Weekly Reader, the magazine for grade school classrooms that made its debut in 1928, has made some sweeping changes to its content, design, and special features—even its name.
The 3rd through 6th grade editions of Weekly Reader are now called WR News to reflect the magazine’s dedication to providing information on current world events.
“We want to convey very clearly to older kids that this is a magazine that brings them news events in a timely way, as well as in an age-appropriate way,” said Neal Goff, the president of the Stamford, Conn.-based Weekly Reader Corp. When they reach the upper elementary grades, he added, “kids feel they’ve outgrown it.”
WR News will present more information as charts, photos, maps, and diagrams to reach students who learn better through such images to help teachers reach students with diverse learning styles, said Ira Wolfman, the magazine’s senior vice president for editorial.
To help teachers discuss the most current events, Weekly Reader is also launching electronic Classroom NewsBreaks this fall. The e-mailed lesson plans will offer age-appropriate information, reproducible pages, and Web links about significant world news within 24 hours of the event’s occurrence.
Mr. Wolfman said that the South Asian tsunami in late 2004 and Hurricane Katrina last year served as driving forces to create teaching materials that could be delivered quickly following important events. Weekly Reader Corp.’s publications reach about 9 million students and 250,000 teachers nationwide, according to the company.
A version of this article appeared in the September 27, 2006 edition of Education Week