The Issue: Lack of Space for Students' News Stories
“Kids tell stories that adults might not think to cover,” says grant writer Lynn Haff about the middle- and high-school students who write, film, and edit for PBS Hawaii’s HIKI NŌ. They cover issues that matter to Hawaii’s students, including LGBT-straight school alliances, the plight of local endangered birds, and the difficulty military kids face when integrating into new settings. Since the reports reflect the issues that color their daily lives, the students involved take their broadcasts seriously. They undergo extensive training and learn on the job by holding a camera, speaking in public, and interviewing local officials. Each report undergoes an average of six drafts as the students work with the show’s producer and editor to make a quality completed project. Haff explains that these revision stages are necessary because that’s "where all the learning is taking place. They're learning how to edit," and to “take their work up a notch.” Once finished, they send the completed pieces to PBS Hawaii’’s main office, where a professional editor cleans up the audio, bands stories from nine local schools together, and broadcasts them.
But not all of the stories get aired. School computers often run out of drive space, forcing students to delete their hard work before it can be shared with the community. To ensure students who create stories can see their work on statewide television and save their projects for future use, PBS Hawaii aims to provide external drives to local schools, dedicated exclusively to HIKI NŌ projects.
The Campaign: Providing Hard Drives to HIKI NŌ Schools
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by PBS Hawaii to help students in local schools store their news stories. For every $125 raised, PBS Hawaii can distribute a one-terabyte external hard drive to a rural charter school that is filming stories for HIKI NŌ. With the hard drives, students can preserve their filmed stories to use in portfolios and college applications.
HIKI NŌ currently works with 85 rural public and private schools, airing their stories on PBS Hawaii. Many of these schools take part in HIKI NŌ, despite their lack of funding, by using production equipment on loan from the network. These schools would be the first to receive hard drives, but the campaign’s ultimate goal is to provide hard drives for all the schools involved in the program.
Dedicated to bringing “the world to Hawaii and Hawaii to the world,” PBS Hawaii airs educational television across the state. Its public broadcast programs range from national shows such as Sesame Street and Masterpiece Classics: Downton Abbey to “local stories that nobody else is doing,” according to grant writer Lynn Haff. There are programs for local Hawaiian music and sports, documentaries by Hawaiian filmmakers, and live call-in shows about current events.
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