Colorado Springs 7th grader named Scholastic ‘kid reporter’: Says news for kids matters
Layla Laramie will be part of a world wide Scholastic program that provides news for kids, by kids
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Layla Laramie is a 7th grader in Colorado Springs, and she’s recently been selected as one of 36 kids in the entire world to be a Scholastic Kid Reporter of the year.
Layla’s passion for journalism first appeared in 4th grade when she did her elementary school’s morning announcements. “I feel like it’s really important to know what is happening in your community and to have an idea of what you want to be and who you want to be friends with. I feel like it is important to know what you believe in, and your interests, and I feel like you need to know this stuff before you can have a real knowing opinion,” Layla said.
Parents Gabe and Stephanie Laramie knew from an early age, their daughter had a passion for learning. “Growing up, Layla has always taken the initiative to lean forward on things, so when she mentioned that she was going to apply for this, I knew she would do well and give it her all,” Gabe Laramie said.
Layla submitted an application for the Scholastic Kids Press program, for which she had to write a paragraph on why she’d be good at gathering and writing news for kids. “I wrote about how it is important to know about the news and how it’s important to inform everyone,” she said.
The family found out one afternoon when Layla was practicing softball in her backyard that her essay and overall application was enough to get accepted into the program. “She had tears, I had tears, and we were both very excited that her hard work paid off, and we’re really proud of her,” said mom Stephanie Laramie. Layla added, “with the whole world and only 36 people able to be accepted, I like knew my chances were pretty slim, so I was pretty excited and surprised.”
Stephanie Laramie said, “I think in the world that we live today, there is a lot of subjectivity versus objectivity in the news, and Layla has really seen that. We have a lot of conversations about that, especially with politics in the last couple elections, so there’s definitely this conscious awareness of bias and being really well informed and weighing your sources. I think that kind of helped her take a step into journalism and the importance of it.”
Layla’s classes provide opportunities for practice. She recently did a podcast on Malala, a woman Pakistani activist, for a school project. “I like influential people. I like to like look at their growing up and their childhood, and like what inspired them,” Layla said. She recently pitched her first Scholastic Kids Press story idea to editors, which focuses on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the experience of sporting events for both athletes and spectators. She said, “I like to start off with a rough idea so that I have something to research... but I like finding the little pieces of information that you weren’t really looking for.”
Layla’s stories will be published on the Scholastic Kids Press website, and she says her stories could even be printed in Scholastic’s magazine if they’re good enough. “I hope they do, but whatever happens I’m glad I got accepted.” Her stories are expected to reach 25 million U.S. students.
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