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Ola HS newspaper receives technology grant

By Collyn Taylor, SIPA Undergraduate Assistant

Posted August 25, 2016

The SIPA Endowment awarded its third annual technology grant to the Hoof Print at Ola High School in McDonough, Georgia.

“There was a lot of cheering,” Lori Vincent, Hoof Print adviser, said. “The lady next door came over to find out who won the lottery! And it wasn't formal. I just kind of blurted it out (to my staff). I didn't even finish reading the email.”

Each year, SIPA’s Endowment awards $500 to a high school journalism program in need of enhancing its technology. Vincent and the staff of the Hoof Print, a print and online news outlet, will be able to buy a second camera with the grant money.

“It is important to get different vantage points to capture events as they happen,” Vincent said. "Most of all, it gives us options and flexibility that we didn't have before. I have students who are interested in competing in photography contests and media package contests. I think this will give them more opportunities to be recognized for the work they do.” 

Several Hoof Print staff members earned individual writing awards at the 2016 SIPA Convention.

Ola HS joins a list of grant recipients that includes Sparkman HS (Harvest, Alabama) and Wellington HS (Wellington, Florida). The Hoof Print is the youngest publication to receive the award.

SIPA’s Endowment awards the grant annually with winners selected through an application process starting about January and ending May 1. Winners are announced by Sept. 1.

“We have seen the prevalence of and the need for this type of outreach,” Leslie Dennis, Director of Scholastic Media Organizations, said. “As journalism and the way people consume media changes, the needs of scholastic media programs change as well. Equipment, both software and hardware, advance so quickly and the programs SIPA represents want to stay relevant and up to date. There are free and inexpensive ways to maintain and keep up but sometimes you have to invest. SIPA wants to help programs when they have to make that investment and keep our students on a level playing field with their journalism peers.”

Vincent will speak at the 2017 SIPA Convention about how the grant helped her staff cover news at her school.

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