Ministers get behind media literacy

I slept like the dead last night. The Brisbane humidity played its part, most certainly, but I think it was also because last week was such a big one for us here at Squiz Kids.

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, we were hosting the Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare and his NSW Education Minister counterpart Prue Car at a special demonstration of Newshounds – our free media literacy program for primary school kids – at Chester Hill Public School in Sydney (and a shout out to the principal, teachers and kids at CHPS who helped make this happen. You guys rock).

It was a chance for both Ministers to see Squiz-E the Newshound do his thing and teach kids how to spot misinformation and disinformation when they come across it on the internet.

And I’m happy to report that both Ministers were super impressed: both by the kids’ preparedness to dive into this brave new world of fake news, and by the media literacy mission we’ve launched to help them combat it.

We’ve got similar in-classroom sessions planned for other ministers – both federal and state – as we continue to sensitise our education leaders to the importance of a media literate population. Stay tuned.

And then I spent the weekend in Sydney helping prep the family home in The Shire for sale as my ageing parents downsize. Because there’s nothing like sorting through 54 years’ worth of accumulated crap possessions to remind you you’re alive. And a shout out to any fellow ‘sandwich-generationers’ out there.

Finally – it’s a happy birthday this week to anyone born on Feb 29. Sure, you only get a birthday every four years, but on the flip side, it must be nice to only be a quarter of your actual age …

We asked, you delivered!

Ahead of Ministers Clare and Car coming to see Newshounds in action in a classroom, you might recall I sent out a shout-out for testimonials from any teachers who had used Newshounds in their classrooms.

The response was overwhelming – which I suppose is not a surprise given more than 2,000 Aussie teachers have now signed up to do Newshounds. And we had some lovely feedback from parents too. We’ve selected a handful of them to share with the world. See those Testimonials here.

Because whether you’re a parent or an educator, it always helps to have the unvarnished opinion of fellow travelers to work out whether something is for you/your offspring/your students or not.

A big thanks to all of you that shared your reflections – and if you’re keen to contribute, send your testimonial to [email protected]. Thank you!

This week on Squiz Kids …

This week’s Squiz Kids Shortcut is on (drumroll please) … Taylor Swift. What else? It’s a fun, informative deep dive into the inescapable pop culture phenomenum that she has become – with the overriding message that global celebrity (which seems to be a life goal of so many kids these days) actually takes a rare combination of talent, hard-work and perseverance. And no small amount of luck. The pod will drop first thing tomorrow morning.

As usual, our Kids v Adult Weekly News S’Quiz will drop first thing Friday morning. And on the weekdays in between, our award-winning daily news podcast for kids, Squiz Kids Today, now in its fourth year (!) continues to do its thing. 

And don’t forget our new-ish birthday shout outs schedule: If your kid’s birthday falls on a Tuesday, they’ll get a shout out in Monday’s pod. And if it falls on a weekend, they’ll get a shout out in Friday’s pod. Because we know how much the shout outs mean to our audience.

And for those of you that love a follow, follow us on Insta to keep up with all the latest and greatest from Squiz Kids HQ.

Meanwhile, over on the Big Squiz …

If you like what we do at Squiz Kids, give your ears a treat and make Squiz Today (aka The Big Squiz) a regular part of your listening day. It’s a daily newsletter and podcast (for adults), getting you across the big news stories of the day. In your inbox and in your ears first thing every weekday morning, it’s your shortcut to being informed.

And new this month from the Big Squizzers, is News Club – the news pod that invites you to be part of the conversation. In this week’s episode Kate and Claire discuss whether supermarkets are price gouging or just running good businesses. Hit follow on Apple or Spotify, ahead of that conversation dropping tomorrow.

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.

Skilling up … you may have seen headlines today about the major report into Australia’s higher education sector. Among the findings was the need to increase the number of Aussie workers with a tertiary education from 60 to 80 percent by 2050. Which is huge. Plus giving more kids from disadvantaged backgrounds ‘a crack’ at uni. This is a good explainer here.

Social media skin(s)care … it was only a matter of time before the beauty industry found a way to hook our kids on their products – and social media seems to be the trojan horse by which the products are being peddled. But as this agrticle explains, adult beauty products can actually be really damaging to young skin.

Smile on your dial … 

And so the final word – and this week’s smile on our dials – courtesy of Ms Taylor Alison Swift. If you haven’t already seen the video of her presenting her ’22 hat’ at her Sydney concert on Friday night to Scarlett Oliver – the plucky 9 year-old undergoing chemotherapy for stage 4 brain cancer – watch it now. And be prepared to blub, as I am doing right now, even as I write this. It will melt your heart. Have a wonderful week.


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