History has been made in Fair Lawn as one of TIME for Kids’ kid reporters is from right here in the Fair Lawn community. Raunak Singh, a seventh-grader at Memorial Middle School, is part of the new program TIME’s “Kid of the Year 2020,” which recognized young individuals around the world who have had a positive impact on their communities and used their innovative ideas to help solve real-world problems.
Singh was inspired to become a reporter after discovering he had a passion for writing about events happening around him. In fifth grade, Singh wrote a response to the following question published in TIME for Kids magazine: “Should kids go to school on a snow day?” Part of a TIME for Kids writing competition, Singh submitted his response to the competition and won. This moment inspired him to apply and become an official TIME for Kids (TFK) kid reporter. On their website, timeforkids.com, TIME for Kids announced that TFK Kid reporters were chosen from 300 applicants worldwide.
Singh was chosen out of the 300 TFK kid reporter applicants and has been a TFK kid reporter for one year. Recently, he and four other TFK kid reporters had the privilege of selecting the first-ever “Kid of the Year 2020,” which Singh describes as an unforgettable experience.
“It was absolutely amazing! I was going to choose the most inspirational, first-ever Kid of the Year. There had been 3000+ applicants...It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will never forget it,” Singh said.
Singh’s success has brought a strong feeling of pride to his community at a time when it is sorely needed amidst the tumult of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Fair Lawn community, and Memorial Middle School in particular, are proud of his achievements.
“As a community, Memorial celebrates the accomplishments of all our students. We are extremely proud of Raunak. His perseverance and hard work is an inspiration to the entire Memorial community. We are always teaching our children to work hard and to never stop pursuing their dreams. This is exactly what Raunak has done,” said Memorial Middle School Principal Nancy Schwindt.
When asked about the journey to select the “Kid of the Year 2020,” Singh explained that the process was challenging, but exciting.
“It was a very involved process. We had to watch their interviews, and research all about them. We had to discuss our opinions, and evaluate the pros and cons…...After long handwork and much thought, we finally decided on the well-rounded and most inspirational person who would be the Kid of the Year.”
Interested in becoming a TIME for Kids’ reporter, or just interested in journalism in general? Singh had this piece of advice to share with his fellow students:
“Being a reporter can teach you valuable skills that will help you for the rest of your life. If you want to be a reporter, be true, write from your heart, and respect the other person’s opinion.”
Schwindt added these words of encouragement to aspiring student journalists:
“Whether [you] want to be a reporter or ... have another interest, [you] need to take a chance, put [yourself] out there, believe in [yourself], and never give up, just like Raunak did. Sometimes it is scary to take that chance, but you will never know what you are truly capable of unless you try,” Schwindt says.
When interviewed, Singh said being a TIME for Kid’s reporter has opened him up to countless opportunities.
“Being a reporter opened me up to new people, places, and perspectives. No matter what you want to do, or where you want to go, being a reporter can teach you valuable skills that will help you for the rest of your life,” Singh said.
Anyone interested in applying for a TFK kid reporter position or learning more about the process and responsibilities of a reporter should visit timeforkids.com.
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