• Magazine publisher Nathan Knight (center) looks through the December edition of Nacho Bird with Jesse Christensen and Emma Henry. 
    Magazine publisher Nathan Knight (center) looks through the December edition of Nacho Bird with Jesse Christensen and Emma Henry. 
  • Hiwassee Dam Elementary/Middle School’s winning Battle of the Books team includes (back row, from left) coach Jackie Lee, Rachel Purcell, Abby Lee, Cale Harger, Caleb Watkins, Victoria Higdon and coach Sheila Ingle. Front row are (from left) Josey Ware, Avery McNabb and Braden Trow. The Eagles took on students from across the county at the event Thursday at Ranger School.
    Hiwassee Dam Elementary/Middle School’s winning Battle of the Books team includes (back row, from left) coach Jackie Lee, Rachel Purcell, Abby Lee, Cale Harger, Caleb Watkins, Victoria Higdon and coach Sheila Ingle. Front row are (from left) Josey Ware, Avery McNabb and Braden Trow. The Eagles took on students from across the county at the event Thursday at Ranger School.

SCOUTING AROUND: Local 10-year-old student creates magazine for kids

   Murphy – Just over a year ago, Nathan Knight created and published his first magazine with 20 copies. Today, he prints more than 200 copies with a staff of friends and is saving money for his dreams.
    Knight is only 10 years old.
    “He just came up to me and said, ‘I’m starting a magazine,’” said his father, Jay Knight. “The first issue, he literally just came to me with the pages.”
    Knight and Jesse Christensen were talking for a while about starting a business together, but they just couldn’t come up with anything they could do to make money.
    One day as Knight was trying to draw a little bird, he thought of eating nachos. Soon, he was drawing nachos around the bird, and realized he had the name and logo for his business – Nacho Bird – even though still did not have a business idea.
    Knight enjoyed drawing comics and, with inspiration from Lego magazines, thought he could create his own kids magazine. On March 3, 2018, the first issue of Nacho Bird was published.
    After that first issue, he got Christensen on board as the Andrews content editor, and soon drew the interest of other kids like Emma Henry, Aaron Hamby, Sawyer Bradley and Steven Bradley as contributing cartoonists and artists. The magazine, which is full of comics and games, is completely hand-drawn, except for the occasional story. Even advertisements from local businesses are hand-drawn.
    “We don’t want kids on computers staring at screens,” Knight said.
    The idea to sell advertising and make money came from the printer. Knight and his father went to a local printer with the first issue and $20 and were offered a deal. The printer put an ad on the back cover of the magazine and cut the cost in half, allowing them to print more copies with the cash they had.
    Today, the magazine, as well as the space available for cartoons, is fully supported by advertising.
    “Everyone’s been so generous,” Knight said. “If I hadn’t been in a small town, this never would have happened.”
    Knight’s father said the business has become an unexpected tool in his homeschool education. He is even learning to pay back his benefactors – or parents – who helped him with the costs of getting a printer, ink and a stapler.
    He doesn’t pay the kids who contribute to the magazine, but they don’t mind.
    “Our payment is being in the magazine,” Christensen said.
    After a year of work, Knight has about $240 saved to go toward paying for college, a small house and a refrigerator. He would like to become a mechanical engineer and dreams of creating a smelling machine, as well as a robot with all five senses.
    The next issue of Nacho Bird will be published later this month. It will be distributed to homeschool groups, the Murphy Public Library, The Daily Grind & Wine and other locations throughout Cherokee County.

Hiwassee Dam tops book trivia
    During the county’s Battle of the Books competition Thursday at Ranger Elementary/Middle School, Hiwassee Dam elementary students won first place and will be heading to the regional competition.
    Hiwassee Dam’s team included Avery McNabb, Braden Trow, Josey Ware, Abby Lee, Cale Harger, Victoria Higdon, Caleb Watkins and Rachel Purcell. They were coached by Jackie Lee and Shelia Ingle.
    In the competition, elementary school teams are asked detailed questions about the 15 books they were asked to read before the competition, said Vivian Johnson, media coordinator at Ranger and organizer of the county’s Battle of the Books.
    The competition was organized into 18 rounds of 12
questions, with two schools competing against each other in each round. Whichever team has the highest score after those 18 rounds is the winner.
    This year, the competition had to go one more round, as Murphy Elementary School and Ranger elementary students were tied for second. Murphy finished three points ahead of Ranger at the end of the tie-breaker to earn second place in the competition.
    The regional competition will be held Thursday, April 25, in Haywood County.
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.

The Cherokee Scout

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