Barkha Katiyar is a Bay Area resident and self-described “mommy-entrepreneur” who recently launched Our Little Earth: World News for Young Citizens.

Our Little Earth is an electronic newspaper directed at children ages 8 to 12 which reports on international news in a fun, interactive, and educational manner.

“In the 21st century,” Katiyar says, “educating our kids about the world is not an option. It is a necessity.” Katiyar recalls making a trip to Iceland this past summer, during which she met a 10-year-old boy who knew that France had elected a new president and that India had elected its first woman president. Katiyar was resolved to act: “We in the United States need to make our children as aware about current events around the world.”

“It bothered me,” she continues, “that my nine-year-old nieces knew very little about the world. When I bugged by sister about it, she told me that that she’d like to encourage them to watch news or read the newspaper, but television images often scare the children and the language in newspapers isn’t at their level and doesn’t hold their attention.”

Katiyar started rewriting some news stories in easy English for her nieces, adding a few interesting or silly facts and sending the stories to them by email. “They loved it,” she says, “and started passing those emails along to their friends. Soon, I was hearing back from parents I didn’t know, praising the effort.”

Our Little Earth aims to provide children with the power of knowledge so they can be competitive in a global world, confident about themselves, and respectful of the rich diversity of cultures around our planet. Each edition contains international news as well as facts, puzzles, and jokes. The electronic paper, which is ad free, is emailed once every two weeks for an annual cost of $15.

Visit www.ourlittleearth.com for further details and subscription information.

Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan was Editor of India Currents from July 2007-June 2009.

Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan has been a regular contributor to India Currents since 2001.