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New Hope HS online news program receives technology grant

The SIPA Endowment Committee awarded its sixth Endowment Technology Grant to The Arrow at New Hope High School in New Hope, Alabama. 

“As I finished up my first year ever of being a yearbook adviser, I realized that our school had much-untapped talent,” Kellie Moran, adviser, said. “Because of this, I wanted to expand our school's journalism program and I began my journey of developing a digital school news website.” 
Each year, SIPA’s Endowment awards $500 to a high school journalism program in need of enhancing its technology. Moran and the staff of The Arrow, a first-year online news outlet, will be able to buy two Nikon Digital Cameras and four SD Cards with the grant money.

“We are starting with very limited resources,” Moran said in her application. “Adding the cameras will enhance the students’ experiences for photojournalism, allowing them to have a sense of ownership, responsibility and a feeling of being professional.” 

New Hope is a Title I school with less than 400 students. Moran created The Arrow because she feels that it is “crucial to have as much diversity in the curriculum as possible.”  
Just as Moran believes that her journalism program offers diversity in the school setting, Leslie Dennis, SIPA director, believes that the Endowment Technology Grant is a bridge to connect with programs who cannot be present at conferences. 

“It is a wonderful way for us to connect with members that cannot attend events due to financial concerns or basic field trip constraints,” Dennis said. 

New Hope HS joins a list of grant recipients that includes Northwest Guilford HS (Greensboro, North Carolina), Center Hill HS (Olive Branch, Mississippi), Ola HS (McDonough, Georgia), Sparkman HS (Harvest, Alabama) and Wellington HS (Wellington, Florida).

SIPA’s Endowment Committee awards the grant annually with an application process that runs from January to the beginning of May and concludes when winners are announced in the fall. 

“I’m particularly excited by the committee’s choice this year because it is the program’s first year as an online news outlet!” Dennis said. “Oftentimes we hear about school newspapers being cut from curriculum or downsized because they are not ‘financially viable.’ It is heartening to see the beginnings of a news program.”


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