NEW YORK, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- "Alexa, what's the news today?"
Now kids across America will get an answer. Starting this summer, children using Amazon FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa have a new way to learn what's going on. The trusted content from News-O-Matic will give young users a carefully curated daily news briefing — and invaluable insight into their evolving world.
The daily news briefing provides peace of mind for parents. News-O-Matic's team child psychologist, Dr. Phyllis Ohr, vets and approves every story. "Children are aware of the most significant events, yet today's news is not easy to process," she said. "Providing young people with information about current events at a developmentally appropriate level helps them form their own opinions about what is going on in their world," added Dr. Ohr. "It is essential to empowering them to be the decision makers of the future."
News-O-Matic has been delivering leveled news articles for children every weekday since 2013. Used worldwide in thousands of schools, its daily articles are adapted for different grade levels to reach millions of readers. "It's important that kids understand what's going on around them," said News-O-Matic Chief Content Officer Russell Kahn. "With timely, relevant, and engaging stories, we aim to inspire and empower the next generation," he added. "And we do that with original content that's created just for kids."
Thanks to the new News-O-Matic skill in FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa, a new youth audience will have the opportunity to access the news—simply by asking Alexa.
FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa is designed specifically for kids. It offers access to more than 1,000 Audible titles; kid-friendly, ad-free radio stations and playlists; character alarms; premium Alexa skills from brands like Sony and Disney Publishing; and much more. Now, with News-O-Matic, kids can also access daily updates and news stories that are age-appropriate.
With News-O-Matic, kids can gain knowledge of a wide range of topics. They'll get to reinforce their core skills related to geography, science, and social studies — and be entertained with stories of sports, space, and animals. And with school letting out for the year, the ever-changing News-O-Matic content can help prevent students' literacy skills from slipping over the summer. Daily exposure to new vocabulary and content combats the dreaded "summer slide."
But do kids really need to know the news? "Yes," answers Kahn. "Children deserve the chance to learn what's happening — and they are desperate for a tool that helps them understand the events shaping their world," he explained. "We're doing kids a huge disservice if we attempt to shield them from current events," added Kahn. "They just need a safe space to get the news of the day."
The News-O-Matic skill is available in the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription starting today. For more information on Amazon FreeTime, visit: www.amazon.com/freetime.
News-O-Matic is the Daily News Just for Kids. More than 4 million kids have downloaded its app, and thousands of U.S. schools use its articles in their nonfiction literacy curriculum. News-O-Matic is an original news source for kids, not adapted texts from aggregated adult news sites. All of its daily articles are available at a variety of reading levels, read out loud, and translated into Spanish, French, and Arabic. An exciting and engaging nonfiction experience, News-O-Matic gives young readers a window into the world — and a reason to love the news every day. For more information, visit: www.newsomatic.org.
Russell Kahn, Chief Content Officer, News-O-Matic