The Sheffield Star has today delivered over 10,000 free copies of its paper and educational supplement to schools in a bid to support home-learning for children during the coronavirus crisis.
The usually paid-for daily paper, along with the 16-page learning supplement, will reach 119 schools to be distributed to children in homes lacking services such as reliable internet.
The Star’s editor, Nancy Fielder, told the SoE that demand was so high for the supplement that they have doubled the number of copies distributed.
Last week, the first edition of the ‘Learning Together’ supplement saw 5,000 copies sent to the community, created with input from Sheffield teachers and not-for-profit organisation Learn Sheffield.
The supplement contains learning activities for all the family, plus tips to support mental health, physical activity and healthy eating.
The Star delivers the papers to schools where volunteers distributes them to the homes of children highlighted by their teachers as most in need of support: such as the vulnerable, or those with limited internet and printer access – where the role of a printed newspaper resource is most beneficial.
The paper aims in its initiative to tackle the digital divide for thousands of young people in Sheffield, and is also including the learning booklets in food parcels given out by foodbanks and charities.
Fielder told the SoE, “Everyone at The Star and Learn Sheffield has been overwhelmed by the support we have received for this project from schools and sponsors. People understand that the digital divide is a huge problem for thousands of young people in Sheffield and want to help.
“It is so nice for newspapers to be able to meet this demand and be able to support children who do not have sufficient internet access.
“Local newspapers have always played a role in educating their communities so I am delighted that we are doing exactly that when it is most needed during this pandemic.
“The amount of companies and individuals who have also been in touch asking how they can help The Star, as we struggle to get the paper into readers’ hands and advertising revenues remain very challenged, is also very humbling.”
She added the paper was “prouder than ever to represent Sheffield and fight for its communities.”
The JPIMedia-owned newspaper says that cost of delivery has been met by sponsorship. The resource also saw input from Sheffield Council and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
Hyperlocal network to create 15 new jobs
The hyperlocal network Nub News plans to recruit 15 new journalists in the coming weeks.
The news operation, which currently operates in 32 towns and boroughs in the UK, revealed its CEO Karl Hancock’s plans to continue expansion despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The network told HTFP it eventually aims to take on 200 journalists nationwide.
Find out more here.