SALEM — Ten thousand copies of the Salem Education Foundation’s new bilingual newspaper, Education Now, are being distributed throughout the city.
The 32-page newspaper contains articles — each printed in English and Spanish — written by school staff and community members on school programs, culture and improvement efforts.
The newspaper was born out of an overall need for more communication in the school district, but especially for the harder-to-reach Spanish-speaking population, said Janine Matho, SEF president.
Roughly 35 to 40 percent of Salem’s public school population is Latino.
“There’s little comprehensive information about both the turnaround and our schools in English, let alone Spanish,” Matho said. “There’s never been an attempt to communicate, broadly, what’s happening in our schools.”
Copies of Education Now went home in elementary students’ backpacks Monday, and 5,000 copies were distributed to Salem households as an insert in yesterday’s Salem News. SEF has also left copies with local businesses and at City Hall.
The nonprofit plans to publish a spring issue of Education Now and eventually make it a quarterly publication.
“It’s a representation of what Salem is as a community. We are diverse,” said Rosario Ubiera-Minaya, SEF member and editor-in-chief of Education Now. “This is one way of showing what a great community we are. We are all invested in our community, our schools. The more we learn what’s going on, the more we’re going to get involved.”
SEF is investing $25,000 toward the newspaper for this fiscal year, which doesn’t cover all the expenses of its publication, Matho said. To make up the difference, the organization sought support from local leaders and businesses, such as the Peabody Essex Museum and Footprint Power, which purchased sponsorship ads.
Superintendent Stephen Russell called the newspaper “a natural fit for Salem.”