By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)
The media is hyper focused on responding to the Coronavirus outbreak by helping the public with important information to keep people safe and make the best of time spent at home, away from their usual daily routines. One rallying cry for thousands of editors nationwide has increasingly been “Give us more stories about advising parents what to do about their kids now that they are home from school due to the COVID 19 emergency response.” They need stories about pointers on how to keep kids safe, healthy, productive and entertained. Those are in short supply and are in high demand. Now is the time to give advice to the public on how they can help their families survive and thrive at this unprecedented time.
To help our clients choose formats that are getting the best results, North American Precis Syndicate ranks the top feature news stories of the year by the highest number of placements in media outlets nationwide. We have compiled the results to show the top feature news stories of the decade, those that have performed brilliantly, way above and beyond what is typically expected.
The most successful stories included attractive color photos or infographics, helpful advice from experts, celebrity spokespeople, the latest statistics, results from surveys, trends, time-saving tips, money saving ideas and other helpful information. The stories targeted people across various demographic groups and related to safe, enjoyable and prosperous experiences, protecting the health, and assets, of the readers, their friends and family members.
We are passionate about working on the kinds of stories that help millions of people nationwide with the news that is potentially life saving or can improve the quality of their lives.
To name a few, here are examples of the top youth and education stories, from the best and brightest communications professionals for some of the most demanding management teams at leading organizations:
1- Ad Council for FinishYourDiploma.org : Education News & Notes/ Success Stories Prove That No One Gets A Diploma Alone
To address the problem of 34 million American adults without a high school diploma, readers are informed about why a diploma matters and where to find free classes. People who have graduated with a high school equivalency are encouraged to share their story on the site which has been a resource for millions of Americans in all 50 states. Adults may be inspired by their kids to get their diplomas, now that they have time to do so.
2- Bellevue University: College Life/ Diligence Is Key For Student Safety In Cyberspace
The director of cyber security of Bellevue University offered a few simple guidelines and rules to keep students safe in the cyberworld, during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
As more kids are home schooled by online classes, these precautions are more essential.
3- FCA: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram: Contest Corner/ Create The Car Of Tomorrow To Win Prizes Today
A story about a vehicle with new features, and the contest that helped inspire creativity in young minds and solicited people to participate in a crowdsourcing campaign to design futuristic vehicles for prizes. This helped draw attention to expose young artists to the various career opportunities.
4- TreeRing: School News And Notes/ New Kind Of Yearbook for Long-Lasting Memories
Readers were alerted about a website to create custom yearbook pages with pre-designed templates. This affordable option has enabled schools who previously didn’t have a budget for yearbooks, to enjoy the benefits of letting kids save memories and the environment.
5- Encore Software/ Mavis Beacon: Pointers For Parents/ A New Kind Of Software Can Help Kids Learn How To Type
For parents who wanted to teach their kids a skill than can last a lifetime, typing, a new version of the award winning software, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Powered By Ultra-Key was announced. The success based approached, starting with setting goals, also benefited people seeking new employment opportunities and those re-entering the workplace. The software was made available as a Family Edition or a Personal Edition.
6- Acer/ Chromebook: How To Help Your Kids In School
For parents of children who are just entering school or for those who have a senior in college, readers were encouraged to get the right equipment to make things go more smoothly, and checklists were provided by age group for students in elementary school, middle-school, high school and college.
7- Texas Instruments: Education & Technology/ Students Learn To Seek A Cure And Enjoy STEM Learning
To inspire students, a new activity series called “STEM Behind Health” was announced. Readers were alerted about the interactive, hands-on way to explore the math and science concepts behind diseases that were still in need of a cure, developed by top medical experts and researchers for students and teachers. Students were enabled to help find a cure while learning math and science.
8- Discovery Education/ STEM Connect: Pointers For Parents And Teachers/ Step Up Your Kids’ STEM Skills
For a way students could plan for great careers, readers were alerted about the benefits of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Compelling stats were included, along with tips for both parents and schools, including how learning STEM subjects can be interesting and fun.
9- Xfinity: Pointers For Parents/ Six Tips To Help You Manage Kids’ Screen Time
For anyone interested in the 51 million schoolchildren in America, readers were alerted to ways to help their young students make the most of their online world while staying safe, including an easy-to-use app that let’s parents control where there kids can use the internet.
10- Comcast/ Internet Essentials: Internet In Our Lives/ Online Education Can Mean Year-Round Learning
Readers were alerted about online education tools to help kids get ahead of the game when they were to return from vacation. Online education, recently introduced by many schools, could become the new normal and this kind of information could prove to be long-lasting.
11- Sylvan Learning: Pointers For Parents: Parents, Students And The Digital World
To help parents navigate the digital world, and keep up with their kids, many of whom are ahead of them, a digital instruction system, that used the best technology to provide students with an engaging, personal learning experience, was announced.
12- noodle.org : News Of Education/ New Search Engine Helps With Education Decisions
Good news for parents, high school students and adult learners about a simple and effective tool to help them make important education decisions, was announced. The new, easy-to-use search engine that collected data on over 130,000 colleges and K-12 schools and hundreds of thousands of education providers, was explained in detail, indicating how it worked, including the 350,000 free interactive learning materials. A chance to win a $4,000 scholarship was also included in the story.
13- College Board/ Khan Academy Online: Scholarships Available/ Six Steps To Help Students Get Into, And Pay For College
This timely story provides help, for people who think getting into college can seem complicated, or even overwhelming. To support students and families, the first of its kind national scholarship program was announced. Students were offered a chance to with $40,000 for their college education and the plan of giving $25 million over five years was included, with advice for students on how to prepare.
14- Strayer University: Getting The Most Out Of Online Class Experience
College students were alerted that they were not alone in considering taking online classes. Staggering statistics were offered from Pew Research Center, including that more than three quarters of college presidents said that their institutions offered classes online and that more than half of all those that graduated college in the last year had taken an online class. Expert advice from the University Provost was offered to help students get the most of their online learning experience.
15- The Genius Of Play: Pointers For Parents/ Keep Kids Busy With A Summertime PLAYlist
To help parents and caregivers keep kids from getting bored during school break, expert advice was given to suggest activities to build physical skills, improve cognitive abilities, learn communication and social skills, process and express emotions and increase creativity.
16- Learning Ally: Helping Teachers Reach Students In Need
To support those who learn differently, due to learning disabilities, a critical resource, from a leading provider of audiobooks, was offered to parents, families and teachers, including training sessions, webinars, technology and equipment to help students along with an online, on the phone and in person support community.
17- Scholastic’s Read Every Day Literacy Campaign/ Kellogg’s Family Rewards: Pointers For Parents/ Preparing Your Child For Success In The Classroom
Compelling stats highlighted the reading proficiency level deficiencies. The CEO of the organization gave expert advice on how reading at home can be a great way can take time out of doing “homework” and turn reading into “home fun”. Tips for encouraging kids to read were given to parents to help prepare them for success in the classroom. Kellogg’s offered coupons towards purchases of books.
18- National Association Of Rocketry/ Aerospace Industries Association: Rocket Competition A Launchpad For Local Students Aspiring To Hi-Tech Careers/ Annual Competition Sparks Passion For Science And Technology Among Student Teams Nationwide
The AIA President and CEO was quoted about the opportunities that existed for students with the right combination of technological aptitude and scientific curiosity. Participants were encouraged to compete for scholarships and prizes totaling $60,000 as well as bragging rights for winning the worlds largest student rocketry competition, and to compete in the International Rocketry Challenge.
19- Prudential Financial/ Spirit Of Community Awards/ National Association Of Secondary School Principals: Volunteer News & Notes/ Teen Spirit Rewarded
Survey results were revealed, which indicated teens encountered a virtuous cycle when they gave back, and that nearly all said service made them feel good about themselves and that their participation led to feeling needed, feeling happier, less stressed, and more connected to people. A celebrity from Good Morning America was shown presenting awards to top youth volunteers.
20- Boost Nation/ boostup.org : Education News/ School Attendance Matters
Readers were alerted that every absence, in any grade, excused or not, can affect a child’s academic performance and about a new campaign that aimed to reverse the trend of kids who were at severe risk of dropping out or failing to graduate. Celebrity NFL football player, David Sims of the Philadelphia Eagles, was quoted about the importance that we all do our part to inspire at-risk students to stay motivated, to keep their eyes on the prize and graduate.”
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