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Kid Scoop – Attracting Readers and Advertisers

Kid Scoop has proved itself a circulation builder and prime newspaper real estate for advertisers.

He’s been a publisher, an advertising director and a columnist at daily and weekly newspapers — and now works for a publishing company owned by his son. Throughout his long career in journalism, John Speck has always included Kid Scoop in newspapers in California, Texas and Arkansas for more than 25 years.

In Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he and his son, Adam, started The Fort Report, a “good news” monthly newspaper in 2020, the owner of the local Burger King franchise told Speck: “We’ll never stop advertising! We get hundreds of the coupons for a free ice cream cone back to us every month.”

Speck is not surprised at the business response to Kid Scoop, but he heralds the educational value. “I could see the educational value in Kid Scoop right away when I first saw it in the mid-1990s. It educates kids how to use the newspaper all their lives,” he said.

“I was advertising director more than two decades ago when Vicki paid me a visit at the newspaper office in Ukiah, California, and showed me the youth feature she had created during her years as a teacher. I think we were the third or fourth newspaper to subscribe to Kid Scoop,” Speck related. ( Kid Scoop now appears in more than 300 newspapers.)

The weekly Kid Scoop feature attracts young readers and paying advertisers to newspapers.


Publisher John Speck continues with praise of Kid Scoop and Newspapers in Education:

The school leader arranged for 200 copies of The Fort Report to be delivered to each of the six elementary schools in the district, in neighborhoods not receiving the paper by mail — 1,200 copies from a print run of 31,200 — so teachers could use Kid Scoop in the classroom.

“The children write us that they are using Kid Scoop to help learn more about the subjects they were studying in their classrooms. Teachers love it because it’s free, and they don’t have to buy enrichment materials out of their own pockets,” Speck said.

The full America’s Newspapers story can be read here.

As far as I can determine Kid Scoop started on October 15, 1991 – 30 years ago come Fall.
Current creators of the page are founder Vicki Whiting and artist Jeff Schinkel.


Added July 26 (see Benjamin Clark’s comment below).

Kids Scoop © Vicki Whiting; Snoopy © Peanuts Worldwide


Community Comments

#1 Benjamin Clark
@ 12:38 pm

We loved having the opportunity to do a whole Kid Scoop dedicated to Snoopy from the Charles M. Schulz Museum recently. It was a lot of fun to work on!

#2 Mike Peterson
@ 4:02 pm

Our program was more aimed at upper elem/middle school, but we used Kid Scoop when we were targeting HeadStart, in which family literacy is also a factor. Great feature!!!

#3 D. D. Degg
@ 5:19 pm

Benjamin, added the Snoopy page to the above post.
Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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