On June 26, 2020, News-O-Matic published its 2,000th consecutive edition. To commemorate the milestone, this edition featured a letter from Isabella, a reader who has used News-O-Matic for more than six years. Below, she shares her memories about her favorite stories, some of the things she’s learned, and how News-O-Matic has inspired her to pursue her interest in STEM.
I started reading News-O-Matic when I was 8 years old. I’ve been reading it every day now for years. It has taught me so much about diversity and the world. I still read it at age 15 because of the lessons it has taught me, which are useful for everyone.
I learned just how important News-O-Matic was when my cat Roni died. I was really sad, and News-O-Matic posted an article about how to deal with grief. The writer wrote about how to memorialize a loved one that you’ve lost. One tip was to create a memory box with pictures and cards. I used this article to help me be less sad and face my feelings. After I made the box, I felt so much better. And I decided that anytime I lost someone, I would use News-O-Matic’s tips.
I loved News-O-Matic even at a young age. I was always excited to share my thoughts and feelings in the News Room. I drew pictures about what each article meant to me, and I wrote comments to Russ about my favorite articles.
News-O-Matic gave me an opportunity to become closer with my family. The app connected me, and I was able to have conversations with my parents and my grandma about what was happening. I was able to teach them new things that I had learned. I loved sharing my favorite articles with them. I learned about historical events too, like the launch of Neil Armstrong to the Moon. That brought me closer to my grandma. I got to talk about her favorite things like the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road by her favorite band, The Beatles.
I got to celebrate my favorite times of the year too. On Easter, I loved trying to find all of the Easter eggs that would be hidden throughout the edition. And I loved getting to make the crafts like the Easter bunny envelope from a couple of years ago.
I loved Super Bowl season and the Olympics. They were things I looked forward to annually. I was so excited before the 2016 Olympics after watching all of the News-O-Matic videos and seeing the pictures. The articles made me feel like I was there at the Olympics! Best of all, I had a deeper understanding of what was happening at the games. I learned what sportsmanship is and how the Olympics aren’t just a competition but a celebration of the world’s diversity. They also showcase the universal love of sports that brings us all together.
I discovered new places both near and far. I never knew there was a Cat Island in Japan! And in India they celebrate Holi, a festival of colors, where they sprinkle themselves with beautiful colors and celebrate spring. I loved learning about these places so much that I ended up doing more research. After reading the articles about International Women’s Day and Day of the Girl, I felt so inspired that I made a slideshow to keep track of all of the inspirational women and girls that I had heard of.
I learned that science and math have a huge role in our world and that STEM goes beyond textbook math and science. It can be traveling to space to research the solar system or how a farmer must know about the pH levels of the soil. I found out how much I loved astronomy and everything about space.
At first I wanted to become an astronaut. I remember reading about a Mars biodome and about Jupiter’s moons. These stories made me want to learn more. So my parents took me on a trip to NASA. I got to see everything I had been reading about! I saw the spacesuits, the rockets, and Mission Control. I even got to touch a Moon rock!
Soon I discovered something I found even more fascinating right on planet Earth. That is marine biology, the study of the ocean. I loved it right away because, like space, there is still a lot we don’t know about the ocean. I found out how marine biologists do lots of research to try and protect the animals. I learned just how much it meant to me after I read an interview with a marine biologist. He talked about the effects humans have on the water and how the animals contribute to our ecosystem on land.
I read all of News-O-Matic’s ocean articles. Some were about how we can help to save the oceans’ animals. One was about pink dolphins and how they live in rivers in South America. I loved learning about the ocean so much that last year my parents took me to the Georgia Aquarium and a Florida beach. I got to see the ocean habitat and how different animals interact. I discovered how much of the ocean is undiscovered, and I learned how much I want to help research and save it.
I learned so much on News-O-Matic. It taught me about the world and how people are connected even from far apart. I found some of my favorite subjects on the app, where I felt like I could connect and have an understanding of so many different topics. It gave me a chance to discover things that I wouldn’t have learned about in school.
News-O-Matic did more for me than just teach me. It made me discover what I love and how I can help.