PATERSON, NJ - One of Paterson’s longest running businesses made their contribution to local students as they continue in the new, COVID-19, way of education. On Monday, Mayor Andre Sayegh helped deliver 25 Chromebooks donated by Bacon and Graham to local children. 

Speaking to the recipients inside St. Luke’s Baptist Church, Sayegh first congratulated Superintendent of Schools Eileen Shafer for the efforts of Paterson Public Schools to close the digital divide which this past weekend culminated with the delivery of 9,600 Chromebooks.

Sayegh said that he and his wife Farhanna had also been pushing efforts to help equip students with the technology they needed to engage in their education, and Tuesday’s giveaway was a part of that. “We want to make sure no child is left behind,” Sayegh said.

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10-year-old Emoni was hopeful she’d be getting back in a classroom in September, if for no other reason than to see her best friend, she told TAPinto Paterson. Still, confident in her future as an investigator, the soon to be fifth grader was happy to have the device to keep up with learning until schools do officially open again. 

Asked how she felt to know so many were working so hard to help students through a difficult time, as evidenced by the efforts to get laptops in their hands, Emoji gave two thumbs up and said “everybody is trying to help each other learn.”

Calling it “another opportunity to be of help,” Pastor Kenneth Darryl Ray Clayton wasted no time explaining why he opened his sanctuary for the giveaway. For the African American community, he said, “education is our gateway to stability and success.”

“Any way we can help do that we are going to do it.”

Admittedly, Jihad, an incoming freshman at Eastside High School, isn’t looking forward to being back in a classroom anytime soon, partially because “this coronavirus is serious.” Still, he offered reluctantly, he knows in school learning is a better option because being physically present means he can “get more help and grow more.”

“My city is not that bad, it’s a good city,” he responded when asked about the support being offered. “People are turning negativity into a positive.”

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