Each week, The Mini Page covers a different topic. The Mini Page will teach your readers about that week's topic using word puzzles, connect the dots, recipes, drawings and pictures.
Appearing in over 500 newspapers weekly, The Mini Page is loved by children, parents, teachers, and anyone who wants to learn a little more while having a lot of fun.
The Mini Page was created by Betty Debnam (UNC Class of 1952). Ms. Debnam gave her complete archive from the years she was creator and editor to the UNC Library and the financial support necessary to create this electronic archive.
An online finding aid with details about the contents of The Mini Page Archive is available at the Southern Historical Website.
The Mini Page is a four-page weekly newspaper feature directed to kids but of interest to readers of all ages. The feature has won many awards for excellence in educational journalism and has appeared in as many as 500 newspapers. This digital archive provides online access to issues published from August 1969 to May 2007, the period during which founder Betty Debnam was editor.
Over its nearly forty year history, The Mini Page built its reputation by reporting on topics of significance to the elementary curriculum including features about science, government, animals, hobbies, artists, holidays, biography, science, geography, history, manners and other subjects. The topics are written in an easy to understand style. The issues are carefully researched, written and then double-checked by top sources in the country. Each issue has recipes, super sports and puzzles based on the main theme. The Mini Page is a welcome resource for classroom teachers as the material fits easily into the curriculum and emphasizes the standard course of study. Parents enjoy sharing the feature with their children. Betty Debnam feels that elementary education can begin or be refreshed at any age. The Mini Page is a form of mass media education for all ages.
The first issue of The Mini Page ran in the August 29, 1969 issue of the Raleigh News & Observer. In 1970, The Mini Page was picked up by The Charlotte News and published in both papers. MSC Features, Inc., a national newspaper advertising representative became the syndicator from 1972-1976. National syndication began in July 1977 with Universal Press Syndicate (now a division of Andrews McMeel Universal). In 1977, Debnam published her first companion book, The Best of The Mini Page, followed in 1978 by The Mini Page Kids' Cookbook, a collection of the feature's most popular easy-to-follow recipes. A number of companion books followed over the years, including: The All New Best of The Mini Page (1982), The Mini Page Book of States (1988), Rookie Cookie Cookbook (1989), and The Mini Page Guide to the Constitution (2006), among many other guides and activity books.
For many years, Betty Debnam was The Mini Page's sole staff member. She was editor, reporter, layout artist, and even developed and sold advertisements to sustain the newspaper in its infancy. Debnam also created The Mini Page's beloved cast of characters including: Alpha Betty, Rookie Cookie, Mighty Funny, Peter Penguin, Mini Spy, and other favorites. Later, other assistants joined Debnam's staff at The Mini Page and contributed to its success, especially Alan McDermott, Debnam's editor at Universal Press.
In May 2007, Betty Debnam sold the Mini Page to Universal. The sale contract permitted Debnam to donate The Mini Page's archive to a university for online publication. In 2009, Debnam presented the archive to the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sparking a collaboration with UNC Chapel Hill Libraries that would result in the development of this online resource.
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