We always hear interesting responses when we talk about why news is a fascinating way for kids to discover the world. Reactions range between “Isn’t the world scary enough already?” to “Do kids even care?” to our favorite, which is, “That’s so true. What can we do about it?”
News isn’t always “scary” or “bad.” News is also about fantastic events, accomplishments, and the evolution of our world. And we are so excited for 2020 to kick into gear because we believe this will be the most interesting year to connect kids with the news. Here are five good reasons:
The Olympics: How many Summer Olympics do you get to watch with your kids, while they are still kids? Only about four, which makes them a pretty special event. Nothing matches the excitement of watching hairline finishes, near-perfect performances, and national pride in the biggest sporting event in the world. With more than 200 countries competing, the Summer Olympics starts in July and is sure to thrill sports fans the world over!
The 2020 highlight: Five new sports including skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing, baseball, and karate added to the mix this year. Other sports, for the first time, will have women’s events and mixed events as well! These include rowing, shooting, canoeing, and boxing. This year, it will be interesting to discuss why there are new rules about how athletes can protest—hot tip: taking a knee or raising your fist are now allowed!
Climate Change: It seems like not a week goes by without the topic of climate change coming up in the news. If anything demonstrated the power of youth activism this past year, it was the Climate March and the influence of Greta Thunberg. Last year, we heard from youth across the nation who participated in the march, and this year we’ll be talking about this event for the third year in a row, which has inspired kids everywhere to sit up, listen, and ask questions.
What’s happening in 2020? From the United Nations to Davos, activists continue to push for real action. If 2019 was the year companies announced steps like eliminating straws in coffeehouses or tiny bottles of shampoos in hotels, will 2020 be the year that governments step it up around the globe? 2020 began by witnessing the impact of the fires had in Australia, but will this be the year countries decide to tackle climate change with broader, stricter policies?
Elections: Interestingly, we started Xyza because we were inspired by the 2016 elections and all of the conversations we heard among students, teachers, and parents. In 2020, presidential elections will take place in the United States as well as in other countries around the world. Elections are a great time to talk about candidates, leadership, voting, and how people decide on candidates.
2020 highlights: The United States Presidential elections will continue to be a hot topic as we enter the year talking about impeachment, two powerful women candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobucher and the first openly gay presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg. We expect quite a few family dinner table conversations to turn towards politics and elections this year!
Space, Space, Space: Talk about out-of-this-world experiences! The world has a stupendous year of space exploration planned and we cannot wait. For every kid interested in space, science, astronauts, rockets, and everything in between, 2019 was an interesting year of the first all-female spacewalk, moon landing attempts, and the adventures of the Mars Rover Opportunity. But 2020 is expected to be bigger and better.
2020 highlights: ExoMars, or the alignment of Mars and Earth, makes it a spectacular year for Mars exploration, for one. In fact, more than four missions to Mars is expected to happen in 2020 alone! Could this be the year NASA launches astronauts in space with companies like SpaceX and Boeing? We hope so. Additionally, thousands of satellites will be launched in 2020 by different organizations, which brings up an interesting question for the family dinner table: How crowded can space get? (In fact, it’s already getting rather crowded!
Women in Hollywood: Did you know that the most anticipated blockbusters of 2020 are based on female leads, and…wait for it…they’re also directed by women? As a parent, you’ve probably had (or will have) at least one conversation explaining “boy” and “girl” stereotypes to your kids, or about why women are still fighting for rights to equal opportunities and pay.
2020 highlights: 2020 will likely be a year of women’s achievements in Hollywood (what kid doesn’t love a good movie?). Movies like Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, The Eternals, Mulan and Birds of Prey will be out this year, all directed by women!
We will be tracking the news for kids, inviting our Junior Reporters to share their thoughts, and connecting kids with the world through news in 2020. What other events in 2020 do you think we should cover?