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New “Highlights” for Hancock

When 10-year-old Ian Hancock picked up his January issue of Highlights for Children, he could only imagine his artwork in its pages.

But, when he received a letter from the magazine editors informing him that his artwork was chosen for the publication, his imagination was brought to life.

The January issue of Highlights asked readers to choose and illustrate part of a featured story,

“Join the Parade.”

Hancock picked up his markers and went to work.

The fourth-grade student at Marion Academy chose to draw an officer, waving to the children in the crowd.

The July 2005 issue features Hancock’s drawing of a stylish officer wearing a blue jacket, blue pants, white sneakers, and a golden star-shaped badge.

In the background, stands a crowd of observers under a blue sun-lit sky.

Each year the magazine receives approximately 35,000 submissions, but can only feature two percent of the creative items.

Ian’s drawing stood out among the many poems, drawings, stories, jokes, riddles, recipes, book recommendations and letters to the editor.

Editor Christine French Clark said,

“Every letter we receive from a child gets a personal answer. We take the responsibility to our readership seriously. ”

The Alabama native’s drawing will be viewed by more than 2 million Highlights subscribers, giving the magazine the highest circulation numbers of any children’s periodical. Along with the fame, Ian will receive two complimentary copies of the issue.

Highlights, first published in 1946, is advertisement free and caters toward children ages 2-12.

The monthly publication hopes to foster children’s creativity and welcomes works from children with or without subscriptions.

The founders Gary Cleveland Myers, Ph.D., and his wife, Caroline Clark Myers, said Highlights “is dedicated to helping children grow in basic skills and knowledge, in creativeness, in ability to think and reason, in sensitivity to others, in high ideals, and worthy ways of living-for children are the world’s most important people.”

Ian hopes to become a veterinarian, but for now he enjoys being outside, playing video games, playing with friends, and drawing.

Highlights editors hope the issues will be useful in the future as references for school reports and general reading. Until those moments come, children will continue to be avid readers of Highlights for Children, the magazine which brings kids “Fun with a Purpose.”