One America Community Efforts
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Program: Children's Express, Washington, DC
Contact(s): Monette Austin, Editor in Chief: (202) 737-7377
Purpose: To give children and teenagers a significant voice in the world

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Children's Express was founded in 1975. Its worldwide headquarter is located in Washington, D.C., with additional bureaus in New York City, Indianapolis, Marquette, London and Newcastle. Children's Express is a nonprofit youth development and civic leadership organization that reaches out to youth across economic, academic, ethnic and cultural lines, and assists them in producing a monthly news service that provides their opinions and stories to news services around the world.

Program Operations

Children's Express maintains six bureaus, each of which works with a diverse group of approximately 125 young people. These young people work in teams to explore the issues that affect their lives. Using a method of oral journalism, they gather and record youth impressions, and communicate the unfiltered experiences and insights of children and young adults. Children's Express reporters range in age from eight to 13, and editors range from age 14 to 18. After exploring the issues important to them, the reporters and editors work together to write articles that will communicate these ideas. This copy is provided to newspapers around the world, including The New York Times News Service. Recent articles include "Bi-Racial Kids Live on Both Sides," and "Teenagers Talk About Racial Slurs." During the summer of 1995, Children's Express reporters and editors traveled the country to interview youth of diverse racial, social and ethnic backgrounds about citizenship, race and diversity in America. The result of this effort, Children's Express's Diversity Project, was launched at the beginning of the summer of 1998. This project is a multimedia initiative which includes television, print, radio and the Internet. Over the course of this project, Children's Express reporters will engage both adults and youth in an important national conversation about what it really means to be an American today, and how to fully embrace what they feel to be the country's essence -- diversity.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

Children's Express was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1982, and received George Foster Peabody and Emmy Awards for coverage of the 1988 presidential campaign. In 1994, Children's Express was awarded the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for "Homeless Teens Discuss Life on the Streets," broadcast on National Public Radio. Children's Express has published five books, including Voices from the Future: Children Speak Out about Violence in America. Children's Express participants have allowed thousands of young people to be heard on the issues of race through the outreach round tables they lead, and through their interviews.

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