One thing I love about Highlights is that they listen to kids. They read every single letter sent to them. Over 50,000 letters are sent to Highlights each year, and over 50,000 letters are read by Highlights each year. Each letter gets a personal response. Every. Single. Letter. Because Highlights really believes that kids need to be heard. So for the last four years, Highlights has created and shared the Highlights State of the Kid Reporta report that asks kids questionsand really, truly listens to their answers. I had the opportunity to read the report and share my own reflections on the findingsand speak at the State of the Kid Press Conference in Ohio late last fall, and Im thrilled to finally share it with you. Parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, caregivers, administratorsanyone and everyone who works with childrenshould take time to read the report because its worth your precious time. It really is. And I totally get how busy you are. The State of the Kid Report is informative, insightful, and surprising. And the results should help youlet them to some degree guide your interactions, decisions, conversations, and judgements about kids these days. I know I have. Because kids are so smart. And sometimes they pick up on more than we think they do. Heres the skinny. . . Listen to What Kids are Saying Highlights State of the Kid Report, 2012: Really, the Report touches on everything from school to friends to the president, but most importantly, it touches on what is important in the hearts and minds of children. Proud to be with my fellow panelists: Dr. Sasha Ribic, Suzanne Bloom, Dr. Julie Justice, Amy Lupold Bair The State of the Kid Report shares answers to questions like: If you could trade places with a character in a book, who would you like to be? Why? What is your favorite way to read? Which of the following qualities is MOST important for a president? What advice would you give to kids on how to be friends with kids who are very different from them? If everyone in the world would listen to you for a day, what would you say to them? What I love about the Report is that Highlights has asked that children write their responsesand you can read some of them right there in the report. Theres something really powerful about reading, in a little persons handwriting, what he or she would say to the world if given a chance. I like it. NoI love it. And after you take a look at the State of the Kid Report, you can view In Their Own Words a webcast of our panel as we discuss the findings and report results. The amazing, incredible Highlights Editor-In-Chief, Christine French Cully, moderates the panel, and as is the case every time I am with her, I am in awe of her grace and eloquence. Every single person on the Highlights, High Five, and Hello teams whom I spent time with was just as fabulous as Christine French Cully. They love what theyre doing, and what they are doing is creating worthwhile and meaningful content for our young readers. I loved meeting and spending time with my fellow panelists: crazy smart and totally sweet Dr. Sasha Ribic; super-famous author and illustrator Suzanne Bloom; literacy researcher and educator, Dr. Julie Justice; and my longtime friend, Amy Lupold Bair, Twitter party superhero and blogger extraordinaire. Their thought, insight, and reflection blew me away. Check out the photos from our few days in Ohio with our friends from Highlights: It was an absolute honor to participate in this event, and I am thrilled to have been invited. Words cannot adequately express how amazing it is to work with a company that respects and views children this way. Highlights magazines have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember; Highlights was the very first magazine subscription I ever receivedand its something that I truly feel helped me develop a love of language, reading, and learning from the time I was very young. Now Maddy, Owen, and Cora are fans of Highlights and High Five, racing to the mailbox when they know it should be there, laughing at Goofus and Gallant®, racing through the Hidden Pictures®, trying the crafts, reading the rich content, and talking about their learning. Im grateful. Weve written about Highlights many times before, but if you want some Hidden Pictures® Lunchbox Love Note fun or want a little Magazine Hunt action in your house, feel free to check out past posts. Heres to hoping that all the amazing parents, educators, and caregivers who read this blog will find some important takeaways in this years Report. Please let me know what you think! Id love to hear your thoughts in the comments section! fyi: Many thanks to Highlights for inviting me to participate in the 2012 State of the Kid Report. I am grateful and honored to have been a part of it. This is an unsponsored post, and all opinions and ideas are my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator. I am, though, a part of a Highlights affiliate program, so if you would like to try a subscription for your own little ones, please consider using one of the links below. Many thanks! Pin ItThe post listen to what kids are saying: highlights state of the kid report appeared first on teach mama.