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Shikellamy Middle School Students Find Their Voices with WVIA's New Youth Education Initiative

WVIA Youth Voices Image

Pittston, PA- WVIA is proud to announce its new youth education initiative, WVIA Youth Voices. This exciting program empowers students to explore the world of television production while sharing stories of their school heroes.

On March 12th, WVIA filmed at Shikellamy Middle School, where students took center stage in creating their very own program. WVIA Youth Voices provides a unique platform for students to showcase their talents both on and off-camera.

"Working with WVIA to produce a television show was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for my students," said Dr. Mary Bannon, Librarian and Gifted Teacher at Shikellamy Middle School. "The staff at WVIA were so generous with their time and talent. They made sure that each student worked on all aspects of the production: they operated the camera, worked in the sound booth, and even acted as on-camera personalities. It was a truly memorable and transformative experience for them."

Students weren't just in front of the camera; they were also given the chance to shadow experienced members of the WVIA production and engineering staff. This hands-on learning approach provided valuable insight into the world of television production and broadcasting.

"We are so grateful to WVIA for providing this incredible experience," shared Mr. Andrew Brown, Assistant Principal at Shikellamy Middle School. "The WVIA crew was so kind and knowledgeable. The students were thrilled to learn from such professionals and to have the opportunity to contribute to a real television program."

This new educational initiative is yet another demonstration of WVIA’s unbreakable commitment to fostering creativity and empowering young people in our region. It allows students to find their voices, develop valuable skills, and share their unique perspectives with the community.

“We are so thrilled to have launched our collaborative Youth Voices initiative, generously supported in part by The 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation. Dr. Bannon’s students’ year of planning, guided by Alissa Swarts, Director of Education, and Teresa Sabecky, Education Program Manager, all came to fruition when our talented production and engineering teams joined the teachers and students for a day of hands-on filming.” said WVIA Senior Director of Grants and Education, Vicki Austin. “We are proud to provide STEM educational experiences and amplify student voices through the power of WVIA public media and anticipate the continued growth of WVIA’s Youth Voices.”

An extension of this program, to involve more students not participating in the production-intensive project, will be job-shadowing opportunities offered in-person at the WVIA station with their award-winning production staff. More details will be released in the near future.

The WVIA Youth Voices program will premiere on WVIA TV on May 21st at 7:30PM.

About WVIA
WVIA is the PBS and NPR affiliate serving over 22 counties in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. For over 50 years WVIA has been committed to serving the people by offering informational, educational, and entertaining content that enriches and expands viewpoints and serves as a catalyst for positive change. WVIA television channels include WVIA TV, WVIA PBS Kids 24/7, and WVIA Create. WVIA’s radio channels include WVIA Radio, WVIA Arts, and the Chiaroscuro Channel. WVIA’s programs can also be found streaming live and on-demand on wvia.org and the WVIA app.

WVIA Mission
WVIA educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.