More Information
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
kid reporter christopher gathers campbell with sn editor dara sharif Kid Reporter Christopher Gathers Campbell with Scholastic News Edition 5/6 editor Dara Sharif. (Photo: Cathy Lasiewicz)

Writing for Kids

Scholastic News Editor shares tricks of the trade with Kid Reporter

By Christopher Gathers Campbell | January 12 , 2010

Sitting in her fourth-floor office at Scholastic's New York headquarters, Dara Sharif is surrounded by books and newspapers. A huge poster of the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone hangs on the wall. Her desk is piled with papers. There is a path cleared to the phone and the computer screen, which are two of her links to the news world.

Sharif is the Editor of Scholastic News Edition 5/6, and she's always on the lookout for news important to kids in the fifth and sixth grades. She has a TV in her office to keep track of breaking news, and she reads newspapers like the New York Times, Daily News, and USA Today.

Her job is a lot like being an editor at any magazine. She rewrites stories so that kids can understand important and sometimes difficult concepts, and she checks facts, grammar, and spelling to make sure the article is perfect. She also writes headlines for stories and captions for pictures.

The only difference is that her audience is much younger than the typical magazine. She says the job can be a challenge, but her experience as a news-obsessed kid helps her.

"I try to remember who I was and what I was like and what I liked when I was 10 years old," she said of editing and writing for kids. "I think that's the most important thing."

Her love of journalism came at a young age, she told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps in a recent interview. She was born and raised in Westchester County, just north of New York City, and was surrounded by news.

"When I was a kid, my family always read newspapers and watched the news on TV," Sharif said. "Then at dinner they would always discuss what was seen on TV or read in the newspapers."

She attended New York University where she majored in journalism, and her first job after college was as a Newswoman with the Associated Press. The AP is an international news service that provides news stories for organizations around the globe.

Working for the AP taught her how to report and write quickly and the importance of accuracy and balance in a news story. That experience has come in handy at Scholastic.

Along with a staff of writers, editors, and designers, she gathers news for a national weekly magazine for kids. Sharif assigns the stories to be written to reporters and works with photo researchers and designers to choose the best pictures and layout for the magazine's pages. She edits the stories before they are put on the page with the pictures.

"Right now I'm editing a story about the Shinnecock Indian tribe on Long Island, who are on their way to getting federal recognition as being an actual, sovereign tribe," Sharif said.

And just as she would explain in a story in the magazine, Sharif defined the term sovereign during her interview with this reporter."Sovereign means the tribe can act like a government of its own," she said. "Just like the United States has a government, so does the tribe."

Writing and editing news for kids means explaining words and concepts that would not be necessary in an adult newspaper. That sounds like the perfect job for someone as interested in the news as Dara Sharif!More Tips from the Pros

For more tips from professional journalists, check out the Scholastic Kids Press Corps Tips from the Pros page.


For more on the achievements and contributions of African Americans to U.S. History, return to the Scholastic Kids Press Corps' Black History Month Special Report.


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Storyworks Core Skills Workout: Making Inferences

    Storyworks Core Skills Workout: Making Inferences

    Storyworks Core Skills Workout: Making Inferences builds essential analytical reading skills that are crucial for test readiness

  • 64 Full-color page Activity Book guides students through the process of making inferences, helping readers look beyond the words on the page
  • Exciting excerpts and full-length features from Storyworks magazine
  • Dozens of fun scaffolded inferencing activities
  • Captivating fiction and nonfiction selections
  • Increasingly complex texts
  • Clear explanations of the hows and whys of inferencing
  • Test-prep questions modeled on standardized tests
  • Writing activities and prompts

    $4.95 You save: 50%
    Workbooks | Grades 3-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
  • Storyworks Core Skills Workout: Making Inferences
    Grades 3-6 $4.95
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Scholastic Scope

    Scholastic Scope

    Scholastic Scope® brings you the thrilling texts and challenging reader tasks you need to build language arts skills! Every issue features narrative or informational nonfiction, drama, paired texts, fiction, and many other essential genres. Each highly engaging text is supported by a wealth of skills sheets designed to prepare your students for higher–level assessments and state tests. Subscriptions include full access to Scope Online featuring dazzling videos, writing prompts, and challenging skills sheets. Grades 6—8, Monthly.

    View a Sample Issue
    View a Teacher’s Guide

    Take a look at the high–interest language arts content Scholastic Scope has in store for this school year.

    Scholastic Scope Calendar

    Classroom Magazine | Grades 6-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Scholastic Scope
    Grades 6-8 $9.25
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from