The Tifton Gazette’s Newspapers in Education (NIE) program is sponsoring a book sale from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. today in the parking lot behind the Tifton Gazette. Staff at the Tifton Gazette are also planning for the annual NIE Spelling Bee and are encouraging community participating in the fundraiser.

Rachel Wainwright, The Gazette’s circulation director, said that the NIE program provides newspapers to local classrooms for teachers to use as educational tools.

“Teachers use the newspapers as living textbooks,” Wainwright said.

Wainwright said she has visited classrooms that use the NIE program and she admires the creative ways teachers of various subjects incorporate the newspapers in their lesson plans.

Also, teachers of children in preschool and elementary school can use the newspapers to help the students learn about letter and number recognition. Middle-school teachers can use recipes to help students learn to calculate fractions. The sports section can also be used by math teachers to help students learn percentages by calculating baseball batting averages, Wainwright said.

Wainwright said her goal is to raise enough money and get enough business sponsors committed to be able to supply local schools with 500 newspapers each week. Businesses can sign up to sponsor a particular classroom or donate to the NIE program in general. Sponsors will be recognized in “thank you” advertisements in The Tifton Gazette throughout the school year.

Amber Hodge will be assisting with the NIE program.

Wainwright said NIE is a proven program and teachers who are already using the newspapers in the classroom are convinced of its benefits.

Businesses, civic clubs and other organizations who are interested in participating in the NIE Spelling Bee or those businesses interested in sponsoring NIE may contact Hodge or Wainwright at 382-4321.

To contact senior reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321.

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