Surrey 11-year-old Jade Lof is the only Canadian among 28 student-journalists picked for this year’s Scholastic Kids Press program.
It’s big news for Jade, a Grade 6 student who lives in the Cloverdale area, and other budding journalists from around the world.
Each year these “Kid Reporters,” aged 10 to 14, interview newsmakers and cover the topics that interest them and their peers. The hope is they receive “invaluable real-world experience as they develop critical thinking, researching and reporting skills,” according to a news release on scholastic.com, a website where this year’s kids were named Sept. 27.
The student journalists represent 17 U.S. states and eight other countries including Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and South Korea.
Jade applied for the program last spring, as her Grade 5 year was drawing to a close.
“There were a number of documents she had to include in there, including a questionnaire, personal essay, some story ideas, a story sample,” explained her mother, Janis, who says her daughter has been a storyteller ever since she could hold a pencil.
Two weeks ago Jade received an email with good news from the Scholastic Kids Press people.
“I was very excited,” Jade reported.
“I really love writing because you can get lost in the world, just away from real life, and you can write your own world out,” she added.
A bio says Jade’s other hobbies include dance, sports and baking.
In the future Jade wants to be an author, and a short novel of hers, “Bliss,” will be published by Austin Macauley sometime next year.
“I love the sound of my pencil scratching as I transfer my thoughts to paper,” Jade notes. “Whether I’m writing fiction or news, I always try to write with enough details so the reader can feel as though they are there, experiencing the moment.”
Reportedly, writing runs in the family blood. Jade says she has an older brother, Jacob, who is “very good at speaking and giving speeches and debate,” she says. “He’s a pretty good writer, too.”
As a Kid Reporter, Jade’s stories will be published on a Scholastic website and featured in select issues of Scholastic Magazines+, which reach more than 13 million students in U.S. classrooms. The young writers will pitch stories to editor Suzanne McCabe.
“Since I am the only Kid Reporter in Canada, I plan on reporting on important events in Canada that might spark an interest in other people of other countries,” Jade said. “But more locally, I would like to report on organizations that help people in need. There is one called Cloverdale Community Kitchen, which feeds people who are yet to have a home.”
During the 2022-2023 program year, Scholastic Kid Reporters covered the G7 summit in Japan, San Diego Comic-Con, National History Day and hotly-contested runoff elections in the U.S., among other topics. Over the years they’ve interviewed some notable figures including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper, conservationist Jane Goodall and the Obamas (Barack and Michelle).