Yesterday I was pleased to attend the kickoff press conference for this year’s Hope For Education program, developed by Samsung. Since it began in 2004 the program has provided more than $7 million in technology and software to schools in the United States. Hope For Education is an essay-writing contest for students, teachers, administrators and community people. Check our story from yesterday for details.
I was at the Samsung Experience at the Time Warner Center, here in Manhattan, not only to cover the event but because I’ve been lucky enough to be a Hope For Education judge since it began.
But what happened yesterday really opened my eyes. I was sitting up front with fellow judges and execs from Microsoft and DirecTV with what seemed to be about 200 local area fifth- and sixth-graders in attendance. Samsung’s chief marketing officer Steve Cook introduced teen superstar Jordan Pruitt, this year’s spokesperson for the program. Not having young ones at home, I didn’t know who she was, but the kids sure did and they screamed their approval. Check out her video.
The fun began when the press conference ended and Pruitt gave a mini-concert. The children all got up out of their seats and with each song crept closer and closer to the stage.
You could see that more than half had cellphones in their hands, either taking still pictures of Pruitt or recording video. A handful had digital cameras. All of them looked more adept at working their phones or cameras than any adult in the audience.
And let’s face it — they should be great at it. They’ve never known a world that didn’t have these handheld electronics available to them.