SOURCE: Crown Public Relations, Inc.

October 29, 2007 08:00 ET

Arkansas Sixth Graders Launch Consumer Products Review Site at

First Reviews Posted as Kids Test Emergency and Safety Weather Device

JONESBORO, AR--(Marketwire - October 29, 2007) - Fox Meadow Intermediate Center, an intermediate school with grades 4 through 6, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, today announced that its sixth grade reading classes are testing consumer products and posting their reviews online. The classes have just completed their first review process on the Weather X Flashlight Radio and have posted the results at their new website, As the final element of this unique reading project, the students will use their analytical skills, honed by the product review procedures, to analyze submitted scholarship applications. They will then award two, privately funded, $500 scholarships to seniors from the high school in their own school district.

"This year is critical for our students to become really comfortable with non-fiction text," said Mr. Cover, "From here on, through their education process, they are expected to 'read to learn' instead of 'learning to read' as in the past. This product review process is proving to be fun and, we hope, successful. The scholarship award at the end of the year is also a wonderful opportunity to build their confidence and inspire them as well about their own educational future."

The hope of the project is that reading, analyzing, and interpreting product information will help students develop and exercise critical and contextual reading skills. Assumptions from the reading are then tested during the product review process, and writing skills kick in for detailing the students' perception of how well the product matched its own written materials, instructions, and promises. Finally, the kids determine if the product warrants their own quality recognition button -- the coveted 'Sly Fox Award.' All of this work is then posted to the review web site for the world to read!

"We have looked at reviews from Consumer Reports to get an idea of how this works," added Mr. Cover, "Using that as our guiding example, it is cool to see how precise and honest the kids want to be about the products. They are thrilled that people from all over their city, their state, the United States, and even the world may be reading their reviews, and feel a great deal of responsibility to be fair and accurate."

Manufacturers or individuals interested in honest product evaluations may donate products for review by clicking on the special link at the review site's home page. Products will be returned or, with donor approval, given away in a student raffle. The classes will be sourcing five new 'gifts for kids' products for their first-ever holiday season, gift review postings. All of the gift product reviews will be online in plenty of time for even the earliest holiday shoppers!

How did the kids like the Weather X Flashlight Radio? Did it win the prestigious 'Sly Fox Award'? Check it out at!


The review teams at are made up of all of the sixth-grade reading students in Mr. Cover's reading classes at Fox Meadow Intermediate Center, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. As part of their reading program, they are learning to use analytical and critical thinking skills to understand all types of non-fiction materials. So, when they review a product, they first review news releases, advertising, packaging, manuals, and other written materials to see how the product is supposed to perform. Then they test it to see how it does compared to their expectations based upon what they learned from the reading. This is a very fun and exciting process! Each class writes and posts a short synopsis of their findings and, if they really liked the product, it is awarded the 'Sly Fox Award'. The objective of the program is to get smarter and have fun at the same time. How smart is that!!!? Toward the end of the school year, the students use their new skills to analyze scholarship applications submitted to them by seniors in the school district. The students then award the 'Sly Fox Scholarship' to two seniors to help them go to college. Now that is really smart... and cool!

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