by Mike Knaak
A Riverview Intermediate School fifth-grader has been selected as one of 12 students from across the country as a member The Week Junior magazine’s Junior Council.
As a council member, Madison Evans, 10, will learn from the magazine’s editors to be a strong voice in the community.
Madison is looking forward to improving her writing and learning “what other kids in the country are doing to help their communities. I wanted to do something special,” she said.
This year’s Junior Council will focus on animals, exploring topics such as animal welfare, the mental health benefits of service animals and the importance of environmental protection.
Junior Council meets twice a month on a video call. The 12 council members from across the country attend the calls with editors of The Week Junior and guest speakers, who could range from bestselling authors to elected officials to representatives of nonprofit organizations.
Madison participated in the first council meeting via Zoom.
“We all have the same kind of mindset,” Madison said of the other council members. “We want to help our communities and make the world a better place.”
From the editors and mentors, she wants to learn how to interview sources, catch readers’ attention and learn how to make a point with her writing.
She likes to write about animals and she likes to read fantasies.
Madison already has had one story published in the Feb. 3 The Week Junior. She reviewed the television game show “Lego Masters.”
When not writing or reading, Madison likes to play the clarinet and viola and practice archery. Her parents are Jen and James Evens and she has a younger brother, Xander.
Writing runs in the family. Her grandfather was a newspaper reporter and her mother’s career is in public relations writing and public speaking. Madison thinks she might like a career as a reporter so she can travel and interview people of all ages.
“Riverview is so proud of Madison and her achievements in being part of The Week’s Junior Council. Her hard work, grit and determination are inspiring for students to see what can happen when they pursue their dreams,” said Principal Zach Dingmann.
Madison applied for the council in October and she was chosen in December. Applicants answer questions about who they are, what they’re interested in and what causes they care about.
“We are looking for children who are curious, who care about the world and who are committed to making a difference,” said Andrea Barbalich, editor in chief of The Week Junior.
From hundreds of applications, the editors select 24 finalists. Those students submit a video and then the editors choose the final 12.
The Week Junior is mailed directly to the homes of kids ages 8-14. The weekly subscription magazine launched in March 2020 and now reaches more than 100,000 households. Educators also subscribe to The Week Junior for their classrooms.
“Kids’ voices matter is the main idea of the junior council,” Madison said, “how kids think differently and make a difference.”