Stewart’s Shops donates to Journalism Program for students

Contributed photoDistrict Manager for Stewarts’s Shops Hudson Valley region hands a supersized check from the company’s Holiday Match program for youth organizations to John Cody and Peter Meyer of School Life Media, a non-profit teaching literacy to students in Hudson Schools through journalism. At the right is Mark Brenneman, principal of MC Smith Elementary School.

HUDSON — Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match program has awarded a generous contribution of $1,500 to the Hudson-based non-profit School Life Media, which promotes literacy through journalism in underserved K-12 schools.

SLM has worked with more than 300 students in the Hudson City School District since 2016, helping improve state English Language Arts scores for third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students in the district’s MC Smith Elementary School.

“We have been able to deliver an important, engaging — and fun! — hands-on introduction to the 5Ws (Who What When Where Why) of reporting, writing and publishing,” says SLM founder and Executive Director Peter Meyer, a former news editor at Time, Life and People Magazines. School Life News students get their own Reporters’ Notebooks and Press Passes, interview guests such as Tait the Barber, former PBS Producer Mike Saltz, the Hudson Fire Chief Tony DeMarco, and dozens more, as well as read and analyze current New York Times stories and biographies of Shakespeare and Galileo. The program has won praise from the nation’s “paper of record.”

Stewart’s Holiday Match has been helping local organizations in the dozens of regions it serves in New York and Vermont since 1986 (see distributing more than $32 million for programs that help children. This year, despite the pandemic, Stewart’s distributed nearly $2 million to worthy organizations for its match program, half of that money coming directly from customers.

“The support of Stewart’s and their customers is not only a valuable resource for School Life Media, but for the entire community,” says John Cody, a Hudson native and always actively involved in his community and board president of SLM. “And the support of HCSD, in allowing us into the classrooms to work with the children has been invaluable.” And stay tuned for SLM’s Distance Learning Program. A limited version of the DLP may be available to parents and local organizations this summer. Send inquiries about signing your child up for the program to

More details on SLM’s work can be found on its website at

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