Educator Name: Patricia Jenkins
School Name: Skyline High School
The typical high school student is bombarded with 10-15-20 second sound bites that attempt to capture current local, state and national events. The ability to be fully informed and think critically about current issues is a state and national standard for the high school Social Studies curriculum. Students enrolled in Skyline High School’s 3-year Communication, Media and Public Policy (CMPP) magnet program research and analyze local, state and national policy issues. The CMPP program also prepares students for further study in the fields of communication and video production by training students to use professional quality video cameras and editing software. CMPP students produce public service announcements (PSAs) or 2 to 3 minute videos that describe a public policy issue and its solution. Last year, CMPP students examined issues ranging from the Health Care Reform Bill, the Fuller Road Transit Center, the county’s Three Times More Likely Campaign about infant mortality and cyber bullying. Developed as an outlet for these public service announcements, Skyline TV News is a unique course offering for Skyline and Ann Arbor Public Schools. The lead teacher for the CMPP program created the curriculum for this new course. Skyline TV News gives students the opportunity to learn and practice the skills required to create an informative, engaging and relevant news program. The Skyline TV News program will air weekly at Skyline before school and during lunch period. Similar to network and cable news programming, Skyline TV News will cover local news, feature stories that focus on the public policy issues that have been researched and analyzed by CMPP students and include school related news like athletic team scores. Skyline TV News will raise awareness of and public discourse about real world policy issues because the public policy content will be developed by students for students. This grant would support the Skyline TV News program by providing funding for a teleprompter. This equipment will help students to continue to learn and apply skills in a nearly real-world broadcast environment. Students who produce the news will develop critical production skills; the media-saturated student audience will pay closer attention to a quality, professional level student-produced broadcast.