The Hindu In School helps young readers rediscover the fun in learning

By Sridhar Aranala

The Hindu Group

Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

The Hindu In School’s 32-page Weekender hopes to put the three “Es” back into the lives of gadget-enamoured children. Educate, engage, and enlighten are the watchwords of the issue that helps children ages 11 to 17 rediscover the fun in learning through easy explainers, picture-based features, and brain-teasing activities.

The meticulously curated and attractively packaged Weekender covers a wide range of subjects, including sporting milestones, current affairs for curious young minds, updates on space and science, facts on history and heritage that go beyond academics, wildlife/environmental issues relevant to the future, and features on language, literature, and leisure activities.  

Filling a void

After two years of pandemic-induced restrictions in India, schools reopened in a phased manner in 2022. While the switch from online learning to offline classrooms allowed students to interact with their teachers and classmates in person, the need to explore fresh learning-related engagements for children also emerged. A niche education tool like the Weekender aimed to inspire the next generation of readers was the answer.

The Hindu In School’s priority was to make the Weekender interesting to online-weary children coping with the challenges of transitioning to an offline mode. Understanding that children have different interests and learning styles, we added new columns, including Facts & Frames (picture-based facts on general knowledge and current affairs), Society (issues relating to diversity), Fun with Maths (simplified mathematical concepts accompanied by puzzles), and Literary Classics (analysis of literary masterpieces).

We made a conscious effort not just to provide information but also to engage young readers with visual essays and activities.

A promotion featuring a limited-edition bag from The Hindu In School was a welcome initiative that helped double the subscriber base.
A promotion featuring a limited-edition bag from The Hindu In School was a welcome initiative that helped double the subscriber base.

Special issues for special themes

We published five marquee issues on specific themes. These issues gave us additional enrollments from over 170,000 students. These copies have been preserved not only by students but also by teachers and parents.  

  • Diary of Events – 2021 in 100 frames, released in January 2022, was a picture-based recap of 100 major events that made it to the headlines in 2021.
  • 50 Fantastic Facts included an activity for each fact and was rolled out ahead of the summer vacation in April 2022.
  • In August 2022, we released 75 Years, 75 Milestones, which revisited 75 years of India’s Independence through 75 defining moments in different spheres.
  • In October 2022, our Students’ Day special focused on Leading Change and how young people can commit themselves to positive changes — from campuses to communities.
  • On Children’s Day in November 2022, the theme revolved around Never Stop Learning. Again, an informative, picture-packed issue that made schools scurry for additional copies.

The Weekender witnessed a year of encouraging subscriptions. This was due to our adapting to the changing needs of children. We ensured that our content was bang-on! This is thanks to our seasoned panel of writers who are sensitive to the reading needs of children and constantly track emerging trends in children’s education and incorporate them into our columns. Interactive content, too, has been instrumental in driving subscriptions. 

Contests and events also helped us increase our reader engagement and boost circulation. We conducted independent and collaborative activations to give an opportunity to students to participate and prove their skills. Thousands of students enthusiastically participated in the competitions, contests, and workshops conducted by The Hindu In School.

One more important factor that helped us build subscriptions was the introduction of a free school bag offer with an annual subscription to the Weekender. At a time when students were looking forward to returning to school, the limited-edition bag from The Hindu In School was a welcome initiative that helped us double our subscriber base.

About Sridhar Aranala

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