Squiz Kids is making headlines…

November 27, 2023 – An education blog for parents.

Is it just me or does everyone else out there feel like they’re crawling towards the finish line of this year? Do the last few weeks of school feel like you’re wading through concrete?

I can’t see you – but I sense some nodding. I’m so pleased it’s not just me …

As the year draws to a close, we’re in hyper-promotion mode at Squiz Kids HQ – determined to end 2023 on a high and create a springboard for us to bound into 2024.

And that means I’ve been out on the hustings: meeting with principals, parents, teachers and the odd journalist – to spread the word about the work we’re doing at Squiz Kids to make the next generation of Aussie adults the most media literate in the world.

On Saturday, a brilliant feature story about ‘Newshounds‘ – our free media literacy resource for primary school kids – appeared in Newscorp Saturday papers around the country – including in QWeekend magazine in Queensland, the Daily Tele in Sydney and VWeekend mag in Victoria.

Here’s a link to the QWeekend article (subscription) – or otherwise keep an eye out on the media section of our website where it will be uploaded in due course.

And a special shout out to my friends at Cannon Hill State School in Brissie who never fail to oblige whenever a newsworthy photo is required. I couldn’t do it without you guys.

Newshounds does a Melbourne tour … 

And the shameless self-promotion doesn’t stop at newspaper articles.

While I ended the week splashed all over the papers, I began it banging the media literacy drum in Melbourne on Monday morning, making an appearance on the couch with Lisa Millar and Michael Rowland, the unfailingly obliging hosts of ABC TV’s News Breakfast.

Watch the video here.

Because it’s not just parents and teachers who want kids to recognise misinformation when they come across it online – the news media have a vested interest too.

Straight from the ABC’s Southbank studios, I bounced down to Brighton, in the city’s south, for a visit to Gardenvale Primary School – where local federal MP Zoe Daniel came along to see Newshounds in action in a classroom.

And a shout out to teacher Nancy Merrick and her Year 5 class.

The thing that struck me while I was in the classroom: how perceptive kids are these days. They’re alive to the prospect of being duped by dubious information online in ways I don’t think my generation ever were. Which is both encouraging, and a little bit sad.

Squiz Kids’ Christmas Charity Appeal 

Every Christmas we like to stage a charity appeal – as a reminder to our audience that Christmas is a time of giving, and that there are lots of people who do it tough over the festive season.

And this year we’ve partnered with Connected AU – a wonderful charity that does great work helping to fight the pandemic of loneliness.

So what’s the appeal? We’re asking every Squiz Kid to write a Christmas card to a person in an aged care home.

Many thousands of Australians in aged care are facing the prospect of spending Christmas alone. A card from a kid wishing them a happy Christmas might bring a little ray of sunshine to their day.

If you and your family or classroom would like to participate, simply send your Christmas cards to Connected AU’s HQ in Dubbo (address below) by December 8, and they’ll forward them on to one of thousands of aged care homes with which they work.

A small act of kindness that could make a huge difference to someone’s Christmas.

Address: Squiz Kids Christmas Card Appeal, c/- Connected AU, 107 Wingewarra Street, Dubbo, NSW, 2830.

This week on Squiz Kids …

This week’s Squiz Kids Shortcut is on Climate Change …  as more than 70,000 people gather this week in Dubai for COP28, Christie and I figured it was a good time to drill down on what climate is, how it’s changing and the little things every one of us can do to mitigate global warming. We’re all about solutions and not fear-mongering at Squiz Kids. The pod drops first thing tomorrow.

And of course, on Friday you can test to see who’s been paying the most attention to the week that just was in our Kids v Adult Weekly News S’Quiz. The perfect way to end the week with bit of friendly competition.

On our radar …

We’re up to our eyeballs all day, everyday in all things kids and parenting. So when we see an article or come across a topic we think you might be interested in, we’ll post it here.

Parents in the sin bin … that was the front page headline of today’s Adelaide Advertiser, reporting on the government’s plans to ban from public schools parents who take to social media to abuse teachers. I mean, being passionate about your kids’ education is one thing, but abusing their teachers online?

Improving bedside manner … Western Sydney University is making all applicants to its medical degree undergo an interview by a member of the public – reasoning that they’ll be the end users of the grads the uni is churning out – and ultimately they should have a say on who will make up the future doctor cohort. It means getting a 99.95 ATAR is no longer enough in itself. It’s hoped the new policy will see an improvement in doctors’ oft-maligned bedside manner.

Smile on your dial … 

Have you taken your kids to the nearest public phone and put them on the line to Santa? No? Then don’t walk, run! It’s a lovely idea from the folks at Telstra – a free call from any of its public phone booths direct to the North Pole, where kids can chat to Santa himself. And if you’re in the mood for a good old, heart-string-tugger of a Christmas ad, check out the TV commercial they’ve come up with to promote it.

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