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BRITT | For West Hancock fifth-grader and aspiring meteorologist Brandon Peterson, being a Scholastic Kid Reporter has been a “great learning experience.”

And he’s looking forward to doing it for a second year.

“I liked the first year a lot, and I always want to do better than the first time,” he said. “I learned a lot of stuff with technology and where things are and what reporters do.”

Peterson, 11, was one of 44 children, ages 10 to 14, from across the U.S. and around the world selected for the 2017-18 Scholastic News Kids Press Corps this summer. He’s the only Kid Reporter in Iowa.

Scholastic News Kids Press Corps editors selected this year’s Kid Reporters after reviewing a record 400-plus applications. Applicants were required to submit a news report about their local community, ideas for future stories and a personal essay explaining why they would like to be a Kid Reporter.

Peterson wrote about Safe T Homes, bins made by Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield to shelter people in areas susceptible to natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.

“It’s something from a small place making something big for a big thing,” he said.

In the 2016–17 program year, Kid Reporters closely covered national events including the presidential election, President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March on Washington, the International Consumer Electronics Show and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. They also interviewed notable public figures, such as Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., Paralympic gold medalist Alana Nichols, author and actor Chris Colfer, skateboarder Tony Hawk and co-host of ABC’s The View Whoopi Goldberg.

Peterson, who aims to write a story each month, wrote stories about GOES-R, a satellite that allows experts to predict storms with more accuracy, Freedom Rocks, President Donald Trump’s stop in Des Moines during his “Thank You” Tour and the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) in North Iowa.

“I get to meet new people and learn new things about things happening in my area,” he said was his favorite part about being a Kid Reporter.

Kid Reporters write "news for kids, by kids" with coverage of current events, breaking news, entertainment stories and sporting events from their hometowns as well as on the national stage.

“He didn’t want to be a reporter; it hadn’t crossed his mind, but now I think he’s open to any of that,” said Peterson’s father, Dan. “He has a lot of fun doing that.”

Peterson applied for Scholastic News Kids Press Corps last year after his teacher came across an advertisement for the program, and because of his interest in becoming a meteorologist, he decided to apply.

“It’s something we hope is going to have a big impact on him in school and in a job someday,” said Peterson’s father, Dan, the West Hancock High School principal. “He’s developing a lot of life skills through this.”

Peterson is the son of Dan and Katrina Peterson of Britt. He’s the oldest of three boys.

“Besides me being a reporter, I’m just a normal kid doing things that a normal kid would do,” he said. He plays baseball and golf, enjoys building things with Legos and writes for the middle school newspaper.

Stories by Scholastic News Kid Reporters appear on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website and in issues of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which reach more than 25 million students in classrooms nationwide. To read stories from Peterson and other Kid Reporters, visit

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.



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