My first political act in life was to attend a school board meeting when I was in eighth grade. I lived for each new edition of Scholastic Magazine back then and was a loyal reader. Then my middle school media specialist, a thin, tiny woman with unruly curls and oversize glasses, told me that the library was losing its Scholastic subscription. Well! I was appalled! How dare they try to remove one of the things that I held so dear.
The media specialist, Ms. King, informed me that she’d fought for keeping the magazine but nothing was done. Her advice: If you want them to keep it, maybe they’ll listen to you. Attend the school board meeting. Why on earth she thought they’d listen to me over her I hadn’t a clue. When I told my mom I wanted to go to the meeting, she scoffed. Even though I figured the grownups didn’t want to listen to me, I was offended when my mother dismissed the idea, too.
More determined than ever, I talked my Uncle Mac into driving me to the meeting. Omigod! Is there anything more boring than sitting in a room full of grownups arguing over a school budget for hours? And there wasn’t even any TV to watch. Still, I sat silently, trying not to pluck out my own eyeball from boredom, when finally the topic turned to the school magazine subscriptions.
When the board member asked if anyone wanted to speak on the matter before taking it to vote, I tentatively raised my hand. Every grownup head in the room turned to look at me.
I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember that when finished, I’d surprised even myself. After a short vote, I won. We got to keep our magazines, including Scholastic!
I love sharing that story with you people because it’s a small example of how we can make a difference at any age. Now Scholastic Magazine is offering kids an opportunity I’d have died for back in the day–a chance to become reporters for the magazine.
The application process for the Scholastic News Kids Press corps is now open for the 2015-2016 school year. Questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or access the application directly. Download the 2015-2016 Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Application here.