Mini Page

Mini Page

The Mini Page is a syndicated newspaper supplement for children, created and authored by Betty Debnam.[1]



The Mini Page began in August 1969 and appears weekly in over five hundred newspapers in the United States as an offering of Universal Press Syndicate.[1] Its regular features include short articles, puzzles, jokes, and recipes. Universal Press has also published several Mini Page spinoff books covering subjects such as history, geography and the environment.[1]

The supplement was conceived as a cross between the Weekly Reader and a newspaper comics section, with an underlying mission of encouraging family-centered reading and literacy.[1] It was the first supplement of its kind when it debuted in August 1969 in the Raleigh, North Carolina News and Observer.[1] The Mini Page's first issue had a "Back to School" theme and included a mini-profile of L.A. Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel and a "Faces in the News" section asking readers to identify a picture of Spiro Agnew.[1]

When Debnam created the Mini Page, she had been an elementary school teacher for twelve years and had never drawn before.[1] Initially, she handled all tasks involved in the Mini Page's production, including researching, producing, laying out and editing all the content.[1] She was also responsible for selling advertising, which is no longer included in the supplement. Debnam now has a two-person staff but still researches and writes the front and back pages of each issue.[1]


In 1999, as the Mini Page celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, Debnam was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame and received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Newspaper Association of America.[2] In 2001, Debnam was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers' hall of fame.[3] She won a 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award from the AEP for The Mini Page Guide to the Constitution, a nine-part series that was released as a book by Andrews McMeel after appearing in newspapers.[4]

Betty Debnam

Debnam credits her inspiration for the Mini Page to her family, especially her grandmother, who ran a small weekly newspaper in Snow Hill, North Carolina.[1] Her grandfather was a school superintendent and edited the newspaper; her father was a newspaper reporter in Norfolk, Virginia.[1] Debnam is married to Richard Hunt, a former Associated Press reporter and military adviser to Hubert Humphrey.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Oldenburg, Don. "The littlest readers' champion: The Mini Page is 25, but its editor keeps it young." The Washington Post, 1994-08-30, p. C5.
  2. ^ Astor, David. "Et cetera." Editor & Publisher, 1999-09-04, p. 42.
  3. ^ Astor, David. "Et cetera." Editor & Publisher, 2001-12-17, p. 19.
  4. ^ "Award for 'Mini Page' series on the Constitution." Editor & Publisher, 1997-06-14.

Additional articles

  • Broadwell, Charles. "The Mini Page's seal of approval." Fayetteville Observer, 2001-11-04.
  • Drevets, Trivia. "She meshes teaching with newspapers." Editor & Publisher, 1987-01-17, p. 44.
  • Hellinger, Dan. "Post's Mini Page brainwashes children." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1999-02-01.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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