Weekly Reader Changes Formats

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The Weekly Reader Corp. unveiled new changes to its 104-year-old classroom publication, the Weekly Reader.

The additions to the title stem from a study that showed student's exposure to news publications at an early age betters his or her learning experience.

New York-based Michael Cohen Group LLC conducted research using a scientific, evidence-based controlled trial to examine the effects of Weekly Reader on second grade students' literacy, knowledge and content acquisition. Control groups were located at schools in California and Illinois.

The Weekly Reader started electronic "Classroom NewsBreaks," fully developed lesson plans designed around breaking news stories. They are delivered via e-mail to teachers within 24 hours of the story.

Meanwhile, the publication will change the title of Weekly Reader to WR News for students in grades three through six.

WR News will have an increased emphasis on visual learning with more maps, charts, diagrams, annotated photographs and other infographics.

Another change will be that editions Four and Senior will devote one page in every issue to a visual dissection of an important news story.

The new designs are currently being distributed to classrooms, but the new look will not appear on the younger editions (Pre-K-2) until January. They will continue to use the Weekly Reader name.

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