01/24/2011
My Voice My Community
NBC Philadelphia features Need in Deed

A highlight: NID partnership with Comcast

NBC’s “Good News” recently aired footage of Comcast employees showing students in “their” classroom at Widener Memorial School how to use iPads to research their topic: hunger and nutrition.

Their visit was a successful on many levels, according to teacher Martha Kutteh:

"My students enjoyed the whole experience of working with our classroom partner, Comcast, using their iPads to research aspects of nutrition for the website we plan to create for our service-learning project. The class was extremely excited to work with Comcast and when they saw they would get to use iPads, that was a double bonus!"

Martha created learning "buddies," assigning various members of the Comcast Interactive Media team to each of her nine students, all of whom have some kind of physical or medical disability.

"Sam helped me look at the food pyramid and showed me how to use it," said Fatima Murium of her "buddy" Sam Slaughter.

"Using the iPad was a lot quicker than using the regular computer to look stuff up," added 8th grader Will Mensch.

The idea for choosing "hunger/nutrition" as the focus for their yearlong project first came up when the class took a community walk down Olney Avenue to Broad Street and counted the number of fast food restaurants along the route. As part of their project, they are keeping a food journal with a particular focus on lunch served in the cafeteria.

On one website they visited, Fatima and Sam discovered a way to count calories, for example.

"Many times we don't realize how many calories we are taking in," she observed.

"The website that helps teens figure out what a healthier choice for lunch would be is a good thing to put on our website," said Joanne Henry. "Other teens like us will know which is the better option to eat at lunchtime.

Seeing the lively interactions between her students and their new friends, Martha allowed time at the end of the visit for the buddies to visit sites of the students' choice -- a decision that brought a cheer from the group.

"Dave [Sapperstein] showed me Facebook on the iPad and now we're friends!" said student Maria Figueroa. Dave seemed pleased, too.

In addition to footage from the Comcast-Widener visit, NBC anchor Dawn Timmeny interviewed NID Program Director Kim Kirn for an overview of Need in Deed. To see the segment, click here.