Serialized story opens a ‘Window to the Past’

Jan 20, 2016

This January, the National Newspaper Association Foundation is offering newspapers the opportunity to publish “Window to the Past,” a free eight-chapter serialized story for young readers that looks back at the founding of the Girl Scouts in 1912.

This is the eighth year that NNA members have had the opportunity to take advantage of a free serialized story through the Reading Across the Nation campaign. The goal is to have young readers across the nation reading these stories inside their community newspapers in 2016.

“Window to the Past” is produced by the Missouri Press Foundation. In the story, a young girl named Jenny finds a “Window to the Past” when she discovers a diary in an old attic trunk. The stories in the diary reveal that one of her ancestors was a friend of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low.

Each of the eight chapters in this story includes a newspaper activity. The companion guide is a terrific tool for teachers and may be used by Girl Scout leaders to help meet some Girl Scout badge requirements.

“Window to the Past” may be published by NNA newspapers beginning Jan. 1, 2016, through June 2016. The story is available at no cost during that time through a special partnership between NNA and the Missouri Press Foundation.

If your newspaper is interested in participating in the Reading Across the Nation project and publishing the serialized story, visit and use download code: nnaread.

When you login using the download code, you will be provided several files to download, all in PDF form, including:

• Rules for Publication. These offer a few important guidelines, including a reminder that the story itself cannot be published on an unsecured website.

• Promotional ad. This ad is intended for publication in your newspaper prior to the story.

• Educational guide. The guide MAY be uploaded to your website. Add your newspaper logo on the front page. The guide also may be distributed in print or via e-mail to your teachers and local Girl Scout leaders. The guide includes learning standards, which will be of great value to teachers.

• Eight individual story files, one per chapter. The story is provided to you ready to publish. You may add to the feature to promote sponsors or link teachers to your website.

Before you publish the story, notify your schools and offer to deliver copies of your newspaper for classrooms—if you don’t already.

Find a local sponsor to help provide classroom copies and to cover the value of the space in your newspaper to publish the feature.

Even if you don’t intend to provide classroom newspapers, there is still value in publishing the story for your readers to share with their families. Write a news story or editorial encouraging Girl Scout leaders, parents and grandparents to read the story with children and encourage teachers to read the story aloud in the classroom.

“Window to the Past” was written and illustrated by longtime Girl Scout volunteer Kanetra Kopp of Odessa, MO. Kopp has been honored by the Girl Scouts as an Outstanding Volunteer and Outstanding Troop Leader. She has been awarded the Scout Appreciation Pin and the Girl Scout Honor Pin. Kopp has a passion for the Girl Scout program, where she believes every girl can attain the tools needed to be successful, independent women and future leaders of any career path they choose.

If your newspaper needs help planning, promoting or publishing “Window to the Past,” contact Dawn Kitchell, NNA’s Newspaper In Education liaison, at 636-932-4301 or at