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Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Press Foundation award grants to 19 school journalism programs

Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Press Foundation recently announced the awarding of grants to 19 scholastic journalism efforts throughout the state. Of the 19 recipients, 18 are high schools and one is an elementary school.

The awards are part of the Illinois High School Journalism Grants Program offered by the Illinois Press Foundation and financially sponsored for a third consecutive year by Illinois Farm Bureau.

More than $25,000 total in grants will be distributed to the schools in the fall to pay for laptops, cameras, broadcasting equipment, newspaper printing costs, website hosting fees and more. The Illinois Press Foundation Board of Directors’ Education Committee approved the grant recipients.

“Each year of the grant program, we see an expansion of learning opportunities for students in the schools we visit, and that’s exciting,” said Jeff Rogers, executive director of the Illinois Press Foundation. “Today’s high school journalism students are doing it all – writing, editing, shooting photos and videos, producing newspapers, running websites, doing broadcast pieces. But no matter what format they’re using, these students are still engaged in and learning the foundational elements of journalism.”

Matt Wettersten, executive director of marketing news and communications at Illinois Farm Bureau, congratulated the 2023 grant recipients.

“The talent inside each of these programs is promising, and helping these programs develop and grow is rewarding,” Wettersten said.

Korbin Collins is the manager of the Washington and Perry County Farm Bureau. Okawville High School in Washington County last year received a $1,100 grant to pay for website hosting fees, video equipment and an Adobe Creative Cloud license.

“This grant gives students a unique opportunity to learn more about journalism while getting real-life, hands-on experiences and producing professional quality journalism for our community,” Collins said.

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Carlyle High School, $1,500 to purchase 6 Chromebooks and accident protection.
  • Carterville High School, $1,000 to purchase 2 electronic dry storage cabinets for cameras and accessories.
  • Edwardsville High School, $1,320 to purchase 2 microphones, mic stand, digital voice recorder, stream deck, capture card, webcam, green screen backdrop, and Ring light kit.
  • Harrisburg High School, $1,173 to purchase a camera, camera mount microphone, and lens.
  • Jacksonville High School, $1,000 to pay the website hosting fee and to purchase an iPad and software.
  • John Hancock College Preparatory High School in Chicago, $1,500 to pay for some of the cost to print the school newspaper for a full school year.
  • Lockport Township High School, $800 to purchase a camera and accessories.
  • Madison Elementary School in South Holland, $1,500 to purchase a camera and memory card.
  • Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School in Chicago, $1,500 to purchase 3 cameras and accessories.
  • Morgan Park High School in Chicago, $1,214 to purchase 3 camera lenses.
  • Normal Community West High School, $1,500 to purchase a camera with 2 lenses, and to pay for printing costs for the student newspaper.
  • Putnam County High School in Granville, $1,500 to purchase paper for printing, 25 editions of “NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism, and one year’s worth of domain name and website service for the student publication’s digital edition.
  • Schurz High School in Chicago, $1,500 to pay for the setup, hosting fee, site booster, training, and Classroom Manager for the student publication website.
  • St. Charles North High School, $1,140 to purchase an iPad with keyboard, a teleprompter kit, an Apple pencil and 2 microphones.
  • Thornridge High School in Dolton, $1,500 to purchase a camera and LED studio light kit.
  • West Chicago Community High School, $1,500 to purchase 3 cameras.
  • Wheeling High School, $900 to purchase a wireless video transmission system.
  • William Howard Taft High School in Chicago, $1,500 to pay for website hosting fees, 2 cameras, camera lenses and SD cards.
  • York High School in Elmhurst, $1,500 to purchase a MacBook Pro.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 378,237 and a voting membership of 77,909. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

The Illinois Press Foundation is dedicated to promoting and protecting free expression through educational activities that foster the practice and respect of First Amendment principles and values, to enhance the quality of services provided by newspapers to their communities, and to support reading and literacy efforts.

The IPF was established in 1982. Its news service, Capitol News Illinois, has provided daily coverage of state government for Illinois’ newspapers since it was formed in 2019. The Foundation also sponsors annual summer journalism workshops for high school students at Eastern Illinois University and University of Illinois-Springfield, scholarships for students in the UIS Public Affairs Reporting program, and in the fall will award grants to collegiate journalism programs.



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