By Leslie Dennis, Director of Scholastic Media
Posted October 15, 2018
The SIPA Endowment awarded its fifth annual technology grant to the Northwest Horizons at Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“My journalism program (and school as a whole) is notoriously underfunded,” Melanie Huynh-Duc, Northwest Horizons adviser, said in her application. “We receive zero dollars each year. We raise the money on our own from ad sales, chocolate bar sales, car washes, dodge ball tournaments, etc., which enables us to pay for our publication costs and web hosting fee each year. But we rarely have ‘leftover’ funds for big purchases like computers, software or a camera.”
Each year, SIPA’s Endowment awards $500 to a high school journalism program in need of enhancing its technology. Huynh-Duc and the staff of Northwest Horizons, a print and online news outlet, will be able to buy a second camera with the grant money.
“We currently have one DSLR camera (with a separate zoom lens), and it never stays sedentary because students are constantly checking it out for their stories,” Huynh-Duc said in her application. "To enhance the equity of access among my students, a second DSLR camera would greatly help in ensuring every student can capture a great photo for their story.”
Several Northwest Horizons staff members earned SIPA's Best individual visual contest and writing contest awards at the 2018 SIPA Convention. The print publication was awarded a rating of All-Southern.
“For years, we solely operated on cell phone photos – which is fine in a pinch – but in order to meet my students’ needs and better fulfill scholastic media standards, having a second DSLR camera would double our potential for great photos.”
Northwest Guilford HS joins a list of grant recipients that includes Center Hill HS (Olive Branch, Mississippi), Ola HS (McDonough, Georgia), Sparkman HS (Harvest, Alabama) and Wellington HS (Wellington, Florida).
SIPA’s Endowment awards the grant annually with winners selected through an application process starting about January and ending May 1. Winners are announced in the fall.
“Over the past five years, the number of programs that have applied for the grant has increased,” Leslie Dennis, Director of Scholastic Media Organizations, said. “The Endowment and its support to schools, journalism programs and student journalists is critical. SIPA wants to help programs when they have to make an investment in equipment in order to give student journalists experience and to keep our students on a level playing field with their journalism peers.”
Huynh-Duc will speak at the 2019 SIPA Convention about how the grant helped her staff cover news at her school.