Media Equipment is Expensive! Grants Make it Possible.
Your school can start a broadcast media program with as little as an iPad. Add a green screen (fabric or paint), and the students can deliver the news from what looks to be a professional studio set. A low-key operation like this is a great way to get students in front of and behind the camera, and to teach them some broadcast media skills.
But the more your news program reflects the equipment found in a professional studio, the better your students' experiences will be. That equipment is expensive, though!
As we have built our broadcast program, we have written grants and sought donations in order to purchase the best quality equipment (see our equipment list here). While it can be tempting to buy the cheapest, that can end up costing you more. Our lavalier mics are an ongoing issue; we have already replaced some less expensive mics with better ones, and since they are used every day, it's important that they are sturdy.
It is well worth the time to learn to write grants, as there is a lot of money out there if you can present and argue your case clearly. Here is where we have received funding for our program:
- $20,000: LRNG Innovator "No Bells, No Walls," 2014
- $4314: DonorsChoose, 2017
- $540: our school's PTSA, 2016
- $15,000: Petaluma Educational Foundation, 2015
- $700: Kiwanis, 2015
- $3000, our school's PTSA, 2014
- $855: Kiwanis, 2014
- $581: DonorsChoose, 2013
- $3000: Wells Fargo/SF Giants, "Step up to the plate," 2012
- $600: our school's PTSA, 2012
Check out Edutopia's list of grants and resources, which is updated often.
There is a lot to be gained from giving students access to professional quality media equipment, and even if your school can't afford to buy it, you can start building a program from scratch by taking advantage of grants.