PATERSON, NJ - “News is dying,” Paula Alford told TAPinto Paterson as children waited in line to get their faces painted, and others ran towards a video game truck set up on the edge of the parking lot. Clarifying her statement for the edification of this reporter, Alford added, “it’s hard to find reliable news sources.”
While Alford is not the first person to lament the onslaught of “fake news” she is taking a lead, at least locally, on combating it by making sure local youth have opportunities to educate themselves on making better choices when it comes to information gathering. That, she said, is a focus of her non-profit organization NuSplash.
On November 16, Alford, teaming up with McDonalds on Broadway, held a family fun festival, the highlight of which was the donation of 50 Amazon Fire tablets to local children.
“Technology opens these children to the world.” While NuSplash will teach them how to find reliable news sources, and other important information to help them make decisions that can change the community, the devices will allow them to put what they practice through the program’s Alford has launched in their homes.
Tamika Staton was on hand with her grandson Jeremiah, whom at 3 years old isn’t talking just yet. “He is a happy, fun person,” the proud grandmother said, adding that the additional learning opportunities that Jeremiah will gain through the tablet will “mean so much.”
Staton was also grateful that Alford and group of volunteers put the event together as it also presented a great opportunity to get the community together. “This wasn’t just about the giveaway,” she said, “it’s about the gathering.”
While Nusplash has given away bookbags filled with school supplies in past years Alford said that donating tablets was something new for them. “We decided to step up and challenge ourselves to do more.”
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