ALA Receives Donor-funded Membership to NewsDecoder

June 26th, 2018

'Donors have already sponsored webinars and our twice-yearly reporting and writing contests, but this is the first time that a donor has underwritten a school’s membership.'
– Nelson Graves, NewsDecoder founder

ALA is one of three schools to become the latest members of NewsDecoder, an up-and-coming platform for written, visual and spoken expression by youth journalists. The other two schools are Herlufsholm School* in Denmark and Middlesex School in the United States.  

Founded in 2016 by Nelson Graves, former Reuters correspondent, educator, and Johns Hopkins University graduate admissions director, NewsDecoder has 17 member institutions from 10 countries, readership in over 190 countries, and works with 50 professional journalists to deliver mentoring and diverse learning opportunities to thousands of students worldwide.

In a recent ND article on its newest member schools, Mr. Graves emphasizes: “Importantly, the three newcomers are among the most prestigious schools in their countries, ensuring they will bring curiosity, creativity and authority to our fledgling program.”

“In a first, a News-Decoder donor who is keen to see us expand into Africa has offered to cover the costs of ALA’s membership for 2018-19, add Mr Graves. "Donors have already sponsored webinars and our twice-yearly reporting and writing contests, but this is the first time that a donor has underwritten a school’s membership.” The undisclosed donor will make it possible for ALA students to participate in a webinar series and other e-learning, publishing opportunities, onsite visits by international trainers, access to a discussion board, and mentoring by journalists."

Mutual Benefit

The benefit of ALA’s membership, is mutual, explains Mr. Graves: “ALA students would be perfectly positioned to explain Africa’s challenges and opportunities to students outside the continent, and I would hope that ALA students could learn from students in our community elsewhere in the world.” Additionally, and of particular interest, ND partners with the African News Agency, which publishes News-Decoder content, including on its new youth portal.

The program starts up again in September with member schools addressing major global issues such as human rights, democracy and climate change. Clearly a perfect fit for ALA students!

ALA was introduced to ND by Sophie Paris, Global Coordinator at our long-time partner, Miss Porter’s School (MPS), which has sent a group of up to 16 students to ALA in January for the past four years. We’re grateful to MPS for recommending ALA to ND and for Mr. Graves' support in making it possible for our students to participate during the upcoming school year.

Check out NewsDecoder for youth perspectives on the latest in breaking global events, and stay tuned for ALA student contributions!

*A group of Herlufsholm School students and a faculty member spent four days on ALA’s campus in September 2017, along with students from ND founding member, Chadwick School, and Ermitage International School of France.



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This is an article from The Network Unleashed – the blog that highlights the adventures and accomplishments of our program alumni and tracks the impact they are making around the world. Visit the ALA promise here.


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