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March 31, 2017

The New Yorker spotlights Philly nonprofit for leading 'fake news' workshop

Media Education
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Mighty Writers, the Philadelphia nonprofit that helps kids from ages seven to 17 "think and write with clarity," is getting national attention for a workshop geared toward teaching kids how to tell what's real from what's not.

The New Yorker profiled Mighty Writers' program called "Fake News Finders" in an article called "Public-School Students take on Fake News" for its upcoming April 3 issue.

RELATED: Philly fact-checkers: Debunking fake news for Facebook off to slow start

Writer Paige Williams, who's been a staff writer for the publication since 2015, sat in on a recent class at Mighty Writers' West Philadelphia location where about 20 students sat in for the session of "Fake News Finders."

Former Inquirer columnist Annette John-Hall led the discussion that touched on reputable sources, social media and President Donald Trump.

"'Fake news’ has been redefined, for a lot of people, as news that they don’t agree with," John-Hall told the students, according to The New Yorker.

Christina Rissell, who helps lead the workshop, told Metro that she began developing "Fake News Finders" to help the students who are beginning to write research papers which will require reputable sources.

"I realized that they had no idea about where to get sources, and why it's important," Rissell told the paper. 

Mighty Writers has two workshops centered around separating fact from fiction when it comes to new sources. The one profiled by The New Yorker took place from Feb. 27 until Mar. 23, and held 16 sessions. The workshop was for students ages 10 to 14, according to the nonprofit's website.

Mighty Writers is also holding its "Looking for Liars" workshop, which also lasts for 16 sessions. That one's being held until April 27. 

Along with West Philly, Mighty Writers also has locations in South Philly, North Philly and a location called El Futuro, which is found in the Italian Market and helps Spanish-speaking students.

Check out The New Yorker's article here.


Note: PhillyVoice Staff Writer Patricia Madej volunteers as a homework tutor at Mighty Writer's El Futuro location.