Newspaper reading is a fundamental skill for responsible citizenship. What better way to reach into the community than to have a university Times Talk program taken into the community beyond the campus? After school programs, Boys & Girls Cubs, and other youth enrichment programs are often eager for university student participation.
A residential learning community dedicated to civic engagement at Georgia College offered a journalism program for an after school program. Over a six week unit, the university students mentored their young counterparts in journalism resulting in a four-page newspaper that shared news about the after school program.
Another group of students affiliated with the American Democracy Project held a weekly Times Talk at a local middle school. Times articles reflecting interests of the younger students - music, fashion, sports, technology, and a host of other subjects introduced newspaper reading to middle school students.
A new university-community partnership involves a Grassroots Community Organizing course. The course teaches university students to become Public Achievement coaches and work with middle school students in small PA groups. Each group identifies issue and works on a project to serve the public good. Public Achievement helps young people learn democratic core concepts such as diversity, public good, free spaces, democracy, diversity, and accountability, among others. The New York Times is used as a resource for students to find illustrations of the core concepts as they are applied to current events and issues.