DAVISVILLE — Kanawha Elementary School will revamp and upgrade its student media studio in the coming months thanks to a grant from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.
Fourth-grade teachers Stacy Allman and Sarah Minor said the nearly $4,000 grant will allow the Brave House Broadcast Project to purchase green screen equipment, new cameras and microphones and other equipment to produce student-led video content.
Students in Kanawha Elementary School belong to one of four Brave Houses which compete in character-building challenges and community service projects. The student media room has been renovated to include colors and logos from each of the four Brave Houses.
Students do a daily video broadcast called Breakfast with Brave House.
“It’s video announcements with content,” Allman said.
They also create standalone videos of events and projects throughout the school. Fifth-grade students act as house leaders, broadcasters and IT support.
Most of the video recording and editing now is done only with Wood County Schools-issued iPads. Students and staff have repeatedly run into the limitations of the technology, including poor audio, insufficient lighting and limited recording capabilities.
“We noticed the quality of the video was not that good for the amount of effort out students were putting into them,” Allman said. “The sound was pretty poor. When you are broadcasting to the school, you want it to look and sound good.”
The new grant-purchased equipment will allow the students to greatly improve their broadcasting capabilities, and officials hope they will be able to offer help to area agencies in producing video and audio content.
“I’m excited to get new equipment that I have never used, that the kids have never used” Minor said. “A lot of kids are interested in that content creator space. It is popular and very high interest. I think it is really going to benefit the students.”
“They look for stories throughout the school” and opportunities to showcase other classes, Allman said. For example, students produced a segment where kindergarteners told Thanksgiving-related jokes and third-graders created their own Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons.
“The students work really hard. They have a lot of pride in what they do,” Allman said.
Minor said the specialized equipment will not only allow them to produce more polished content, but also will provide more opportunities for students to learn writing, broadcasting and editing skills.
“It is incredible how fast those skills develop,” Minor said.
Officials plan to purchase the equipment and begin producing new and improved content in January.