Last updated: July 18. 2013 11:18PM - 183 Views
Tony McGuire
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Forward in the Fifth is asking middle and high school students in Perry County to speak out about what’s going on in their schools to advance and promote education in Southern and Eastern Kentucky in a new regional video contest.

The contest is part of a newly launched Forward in the Fifth initiative presented in partnership with Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative and the University of Pikeville to encourage students to share their own personal success stories about education and schools in the region by creating a 90-second or less student-produced video.

“Schools and communities must promote, celebrate, and share the positive impacts they are making daily in the lives of their students and staff,” said Jim Tackett, executive director of Forward in the Fifth, a nonprofit organization and affiliate of The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. “What better way to do this than by telling these stories through young people and the emerging technology we now have?”

Sixty-three public school districts in 45 Kentucky counties within Forward in the Fifth’s primary service area have been invited to participate in the contest and lend their support to the New Voices in Education project.

Video contest entries will be screened by a review committee and later posted on the New Voices in Education website at www.voicesineducation.org, designed by UPIKE students. Selection will be based on content, use of theme, originality, editing, creativity, and technical quality.

Students must upload their video submissions to the New Voices in Education website no later than Feb. 28, 2013, to be eligible for the contest. Instructions on how to upload videos are available from a link on the homepage.

Video registration and release forms, which may be downloaded and printed from the website, must be mailed and postmarked no later than Feb. 28 to New Voices in Education, Forward in the Fifth, 2292 South Hwy. 27, Somerset, KY 42501.

All contest entries will be categorized into middle school and high school divisions. Both student and school awards will be announced by Forward in the Fifth near the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

“We learn a lot about educational needs through meetings and phone calls, but there’s nothing quite like seeing education in action firsthand, especially from a student’s perspective,” said U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), who helped establish Forward in the Fifth in 1986. “I want to commend the students at UPIKE for designing such an impressive website, where we can share ideas across the region and brag on the great strides we’re making in education in one of the most rural parts of the country.”

During the video presentations, students will be able to share powerful personal stories about their own school experiences; best practices utilized by educators, schools, or school districts; innovative programs in and outside the classroom; strong curriculum and robust instructional strategies; and volunteer programs that are changing the lives of students all across the region.

The contest will allow students to use existing technology—cell phones, video cameras, and other common devices—to produce their video without having to seek out highly sophisticated equipment.

“Voices in Education is a perfect example of experiential learning, which is an integral part of our curriculum,” said James Hurley, president-elect at the University of Pikeville. “As educators, our goal is to provide the best opportunities for our students. We are also committed to improving access and college readiness for middle and high school students.”

“I am excited to see what our students develop as part of this competition,” added Jeff Hawkins, executive director of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative. “This project allows each of us to see the true impact our schools and communities are truly making on a daily basis.”

Video productions may be created by individual students, a group of students, or as a school project. Multiple entries by individuals or groups will be considered. Videos about school sports are already well documented in most local communities and will not be accepted unless it is genuinely unique in promoting education for a person or group.

For more information about Forward in the Fifth, contact Jim Tackett at 606-677-6000 or email fif@centertech.com. Visit the New Voices in Education website at www.voicesineducation.org for a complete description of contest rules and student requirements.

The Forward in the Fifth initiative is funded in part by a literacy grant through the U.S. Department of Education.

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