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Grant helps students set up own TV station

Confederation Secondary School has received a $67,000 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board for a “Students in Media” project.
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Confederation Secondary School has received a $67,000 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board for a “Students in Media” project - part of the school's new Specialist High Skills Major in Information and Communications Technology. Teacher Dylan Callens applied for the grant along with a team of students led by Cody Trites. The funds have been used to purchase video equipment to create a functional Internet-based television station at the school. Supplied photo.
Confederation Secondary School has received a $67,000 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board for a “Students in Media” project.

The project is part of the new Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) in Information and Communications Technology launched at the school this year.

“We thank State Farm for its generous contribution to student success,” Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar said.

“These funds are enabling Confederation Secondary School to provide students with an exceptional hands-on learning opportunity using state-of-the-art technology.”

The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is made up of 30 students, ages 17 to 20, from across Canada and the United States. They help State Farm design and implement an annual $5-million initiative to address issues important to State Farm and communities across both countries.

Teacher Dylan Callens applied for the grant last spring, along with a team of students led by Cody Trites. The students, including Kyle Wagner, Brent Trayner and Drew Glen-Robinson, produced a video and provided their input.

“I was searching for funding opportunities because I wanted to make our Specialist High Skills Major relevant for students interested in Information and Communications Technology,” Callens said. “I am grateful that the State Farm Youth Advisory Board shared our vision.”

More than 2,000 applications were submitted. A total of 68 projects received funding. Only three of the projects were in Canada. The funds have been used to purchase video equipment to create a functional Internet-based television station at Confederation Secondary School.

Students will broadcast live high school sporting events, community events and school functions. Students will also create newscasts, a television series and documentaries. Curriculum expectations from several courses will be integrated into video production.

The school has already begun streaming content, which can be accessed at http://confed.rainbowschools.ca. Follow the ConfedTV link.

Confederation Secondary School principal Pablo Gil-Alfau commended Dylan Callens and his team of students for their leadership in the grant application process and thanked State Farm for its support.

“We are most grateful to the State Farm Youth Advisory Board for having selected our school,” Gil-Alfau said.

“Our new SHSM in Information and Communications Technology has been enhanced as a result of these funds. Our students are benefiting from a dynamic learning experience which will open doors for their future.”

SHSM is a specialized program approved by the Ministry of Education that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

SHSMs assist students in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace.

Rainbow District School Board offers SHSM programs in nine sectors – Arts and Culture, Business, Construction, Energy, Environment, Health and Wellness, Information and Communications Technology, Manufacturing, and Mining. Each SHSM is a bundle of eight to 10 courses in a selected field. Students learn on the job and can earn valuable industry certifications.

These programs enable students to gain sector specific skills and knowledge in engaging, career-related learning environments, and prepare in a focused way for graduation and post-secondary education, training or employment.


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