The Front Page Foundation has expanded its philanthropy recently to provide media education programs for high school youth, in addition to its college scholarships for journalism and broadcast college scholarships.
The media-focused Foundation raises funds through the annual Front Page Follies, a parody of the past year’s news in song, coming up on Thursday, June 14, at Knoxville’s Bijou Theatre. This year’s 40th annual Front Page Follies will feature new songs and several popular Follies flashbacks.
The Foundation awarded grants recently to Smoky Mountain Youth Media, an after-school broadcast media training program for high school students, and to The Daily Times Newspaper in Education program, which provides newspapers to Blount County classrooms for use as an education resource.
The Foundation’s $1,200 grant to Smoky Mountain Youth Media, part of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs initiative, allowed the program to purchase a second editing laptop so that students can work on multiple projects at the same time.
The twice-weekly program serves 12 high school students from Fulton, Austin-East, and Jellico High Schools and L&N STEM Academy. Students receive training based on the PBS NewsHour curriculum for the development of journalistic ethics, brainstorming, teamwork, task delegation, democratic decision-making, communications, leadership development and civic engagement. They also get hands-on technical training on lighting, camera work, framing, audio, editing and finished product distribution.
“We’ve seen really good success with this program feeding into the media and journalism programs of Pellissippi State Community College, and several of our students have returned for paid positions with local, in-house documentary production,” said William Isom II, Director of Community Outreach for East Tennessee PBS. “Additionally, several segments of our students’ pieces have aired nationally on PBS NewsHour, which is pretty exciting for the young people and their parents.”
The Foundation awarded a $500 grant to The Daily Times in Blount County, providing five classrooms access to the Monday-Friday newspaper for a school year. The newspapers serve as living textbooks, allowing students to witness history as it happens, and they cultivate continued students interest in current events.
“With the newspaper as an education resource, teachers can encourage their students to read the information critically and reflect on what they learn about present-day issues in the world around them,” said Bryan Sandmeier of The Daily Times. “We hope newspapers in the classrooms will help create lifelong learners, more informed consumers and involved citizens.”
The Front Page Follies, presented by the Foundation, will support these media education programs, as well as college journalism and broadcast scholarships at the University of Tennessee and Pellissippi State Community College. The Follies was previously sponsored by its founding partner, the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists.
For tickets, go to the Knoxville Bijou web site, https://knoxbijou.org/event/?id=719452, or the Bijou Theatre box office. For more information, go to the Foundation’s web site, www.FrontPageFoundation.org or its Facebook page.