While reading the Scholastic Kids Weekly Reader magazine over the summer, Hayden David saw something that caught her attention. It was information about applying to be a Scholastic Kids Press reporter.

Hayden, 12, is a seventh grader at Ordean East Middle School. About five years ago, she started to pick up creative writing, so when she saw the application for the Kids Press program, she said it seemed “really cool.”

As part of her application process, Hayden had to write a news article, so she chose to write about the new bear exhibit at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth.

“I picked it because the reason why it was renovated is that it was flooded during the 2012 flood, which was related to climate change, a topic I really want to write about,” Hayden said.

Hayden Ainslee David of Duluth uses a camera to record video on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Endi in Duluth. She is a reporter with Scholastic Kids Press, a team of 36 young journalists, ages 10-14, from across the country and around the world. 
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
Hayden Ainslee David of Duluth uses a camera to record video on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Endi in Duluth. She is a reporter with Scholastic Kids Press, a team of 36 young journalists, ages 10-14, from across the country and around the world. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Hayden said the toughest part of doing that story was trying to find a kid to talk to at the zoo about the bear exhibit.

“I decided for my second interview, I would just interview a kid, like a 5-year-old kid that was walking by and that would be really cute,” she said. “But the day that I went, it was cold and kind of rainy, so my mom and I sat on the bench staring at the exhibit, waiting for a kid to come by for like two hours.”

Luckily, a kid eventually came back and Hayden said she got a quote for her story.

Hayden is one of 36 kid reporters in the Kids Press program, 10 of whom are from a different country.

Kid reporters are selected annually by Scholastic editors based on writing ability, interviewing skills and attention to detail. The application includes a typed news article, a typed essay that answers the question “Why do you want to be a kid reporter?” and two ideas for stories about their community they would like to work on during the program.

Hayden Ainslee David, a reporter with the Scholastic Kids Press, talks during and interview on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Endi in Duluth.  
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
Hayden Ainslee David, a reporter with the Scholastic Kids Press, talks during and interview on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Endi in Duluth. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Hayden said she can either pitch a story to her assigned editor or her editor can assign one. The stories are published at scholastic.com/kidspress and in issues of Scholastic Magazines, which reach more than 25 million students in classrooms nationwide, according to Maxine Osa, publicist for Scholastic.

Osa said past Scholastic kid reporters have interviewed notable people, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, conservationist Jane Goodall, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, children’s author Varian Johnson and more.

Tom David, Hayden’s father, said he thought applying for this program was a natural progression for his daughter.

“She loves to write short stories and she's been writing a book. … She's very opinionated and she's very engaged with what's going on in the world,” Tom David said. “So I think that this is a natural progression for her to continue to evolve her reading and writing skills, and put them to use.”

Hayden said she’s working on a story about Duluth’s newly constructed Lakewalk and breakwalls, but as of Thursday, she’s been having trouble getting ahold of people to interview.

Hayden Ainslee David of Duluth was recently selected as one of 36 kid reporters to join the award-winning Scholastic Kids Press. Hayden, a seventh grader at Ordean, is looking to report on the effects of climate change. 
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
Hayden Ainslee David of Duluth was recently selected as one of 36 kid reporters to join the award-winning Scholastic Kids Press. Hayden, a seventh grader at Ordean, is looking to report on the effects of climate change. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

“It can take a while to find the right interview, and to just go to the place,” Hayden said. “You should definitely go to the place and just take notes on what it looks like and take a lot of pictures because that can help you write your article in more detail.”

Hayden said she’s been having a lot of fun so far and is even trying to start a student newspaper at her middle school.

“I’m looking forward to just having the ability to get my stories out there and have them actually be published because I think that I can write some pretty important and cool stuff,” Hayden said.

Hayden Ainslee David, a seventh grader from Duluth, uses a camera to record video of an interview on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. 
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
Hayden Ainslee David, a seventh grader from Duluth, uses a camera to record video of an interview on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune