KINGSTON—Community members now have a direct link to important academic and cultural events in the Kingston City School District on Public Access Channel 20, produced by a very talented class of Kingston High School students. The broadcasts highlight events in each of the District’s 14 schools. Kingston Mayor James Sottile has authorized that the City’s time on local public access may be used by Kingston High School students in this exciting new collaboration.
“Broadcasting on Channel 20 is such an ideal way of improving communication with our community. The District will now have a direct feed to residents that will highlight what is happening in our schools, and we look forward to showing the public what we are accomplishing,” says Superintendent Gerard M. Gretzinger, who spearheaded the project to link school and home. A newly formed cable commission—including a diverse group of community members—will also help guide the programming of this station.
Special features currently airing include an inside look at the proposed Carnegie Library renovation, highlights from Kingston High School (KHS) sports, and updates on the Montessori program housed in George Washington Elementary School. Throughout the day, public service announcements will also be played on the channel.
In tandem with this new community broadcast station, Kingston High School is offering an elective course in Broadcast Arts that is designed to create media-savvy, lifelong learners—the very same students who are producing content for the public access channel. Kingston High School teacher Andrew Sheber teaches the course. Sheber is also co-advisor of the award-winning, in-house production of KHS-TV (along with co-advisor Norman Hendricks), a station that broadcasts news within KHS each school day.
Sheber called upon the words of executive Linda Ellerbee, producer and host of Nick News, in why media literacy is so essential in educating students for the 21st century. “Media literacy is not just important; it’s absolutely critical. It’s going to make the difference between whether kids are a tool of the mass media or whether the mass media is a tool for kids to use.”
Sheber is excited about the new possibilities Channel 20 is creating for his students and for the community. “This is not only a great portal for the Kingston community to look inside the school, but it creates leadership opportunities and creative exposure for our hard-working students.”