FLINT TWP. — Area students interested in learning broadcasting are getting videocameras, teleprompters, film editing software, computers and more through the quarterly allocation of Public Educational and Government (PEG) funding.
The latest $6,000 installment was approved last week by the township board for distribution to the Carman- Ainsworth, Swartz Creek and Flushing school districts.
Clerk Kim Courts said that Carman- Ainsworth will get $3,000, Swartz Creek will get $2,000 and Flushing will get $1,000. The fund distribution is based on the percentage of Flint Township students residing in the school district.
PEG funds are provided under an agreement with Comcast Cable Co. which returns a percentage of franchise fees to the community for public access TV programs.
Each school district is required to provide periodic reports on how the funds are spent.
Carman-Ainsworth uses PEG funds for the CAMS News Network (CNN) at the middle school and Carman- Ainsworth Television (CATV HS) broadcasting class at the high school.
Twenty seven students are enrolled in the Advanced Computers class at the middle school which produces a news broadcast every Friday about sports, weather and other local and school happenings.
So far this school year, PEG funds were used to purchase 12 new computers for the classroom, according to the progress report provided to the township clerk.
With this latest allocation of funds, plans are to buy two new teleprompters – a visual aid device from which students can read news items during a broadcast.
At the high school, funds have been used to purchase needed equipment including two camcorder/videocorder that records on SD cards that each cost $1739. Accessory items also were purchased including tripods, SD cards, card readers and card storage; headphones and editing systems.
Funds also are used to pay for subscriptions to the Michigan State University Journalism Michigan Interscholastic Press Association.
As future PEG funds are received, plans are to buy more computers for edit suites, more videocameras, palm HD cameras and a TV/computer monitor for the newsroom.
Similarly, in Flushing PEG funds have been spent on tapeless videocameras, five MAC computers (13 now used by 23 students) and MACBook Pro software so that middle school students can edit video at home.
Flushing High School students purchased an Epson projector for $700, tripods, microphones, read-only DVDs, and an Apple TV and paid for $1150 in repairs to an IMAC workstation.
Flushing High School offers a video production class at the high school and a broadcasting class at the middle school.
High school produced the superintendent’s Welcome Back DVD presentation, movie trailers and autobiographies.
A PEG progress report was not available from Swartz Creek Schools.
Courts said that before this distribution the township had about $8,100 in its PEG fund account but some is held back to pay for videotaping of township board meetings which have been made available on the township website since January 2013.