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Weekly Reader facts for kids

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Weekly Reader
Categories Classroom magazine
Frequency Weekly
Year founded 1928
Final issue 2012
Country United States
Language English

Weekly Reader was a weekly educational classroom magazine designed for children. It began in 1928 as My Weekly Reader. Editions covered curriculum themes in the younger grade levels and news-based, current events and curriculum themed-issues in older grade levels. The publishing company also created workbooks, literacy centers, and picture books for younger grades.

In 2012, Weekly Reader ceased operations as an independent publication and merged with its new owner, Scholastic News, due primarily to market pressures to create digital editions as well as decreasing school budgets.


One of the best-known events in the magazine's history is its quadrennial "Weekly Reader Student Presidential Election Poll". The poll is an educational exercise in which Weekly Reader-subscribing teachers conduct mock elections to find their students' preference for president. Teachers tabulate the results, then send them to Weekly Reader. (Since the 2000, the surveys have been developed with, and tabulated by, the Zogby International polling organization.) This survey of students in grades K through 12 began in 1956, when readers chose Dwight Eisenhower over Adlai Stevenson.

The poll has now been conducted 14 times, most recently in 2008, and the students have voted for the person who became president 13 out of 14 times. The exception was in 1992, when George H.W. Bush garnered more votes than Bill Clinton. Third-party candidate Ross Perot, whose presence on the national ballot was important during the actual election, was not on the Weekly Reader ballot that year.


In 2005, Weekly Reader Publishing's literary magazine, Read, launched Word, a blog that features student writing and other literary news. It also offers interactive opportunities for reading and writing, including its "What's Your Story?" program, which features "The Weekly Writer", where students can help authors such as Stephen King and R. L. Stine finish an original story. Read magazine has pioneered "electronic issues" around literary themes, including Canterbury Tales, William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe; these interactive websites incorporate video and film, music and sound effects, rap renditions and flash animation. In the 2009-2010 school year, the company extended these "e-issues" to four other Weekly Reader publications, including Weekly Reader editions 3 and Senior (4-6 grades), Current Events and Current Science magazines.

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