This is the 25th year of the Republic’s Season for Sharing. Learn all about the campaign here.
This is one in a series of profiles of Arizona nonprofit service organizations that have received funding from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com’s Season for Sharing fundraising campaign. To donate to this year’s campaign and help Arizonans in need, go to sharing.azcentral.com.
Students can develop photo, audio and video storytelling skills at SPOT 127, KJZZ’s youth media center.
Since it opened in 2012, the center has helped low-income and at-risk high-school students ages 14 to 18 in the metro Phoenix area. Students are given tools and instruction to produce stories on issues such as human trafficking, dating and bullying.
SPOT 127 also provides free in-school, after-school and summer camps based around mentorship and multimedia production.
After-school and summer programs are held at two locations. The original site, SPOT West, is at 3701 W. Thomas Road in Phoenix. SPOT East opened in January 2017 at 3320 S. Price Road in Tempe.
“Each SPOT 127 location is designed to house a KJZZ news bureau with two working reporters. Students learn from our professional journalists who cover a wide range of local and regional stories,” said Matt Myers, SPOT 127 associate general manager.
“Through news and feature stories, students develop technical media skills, positive study and work habits, and important life skills to help students graduate and envision future college and career possibilities.”
QUESTION: How was the program developed?
ANSWER: SPOT 127 provides the opportunity for ethnically diverse students to increase their media literacy by thinking critically about the media they create, produce and consume.
Friends of Public Radio Arizona and staff at KJZZ 91.5 FM developed the model. Our students receive quality instruction utilizing real world media-based curriculum that meets state education standards and is taught by experienced media professionals.
SPOT West is now over capacity in the number of students. To further increase the number of students we can reach, SPOT 127 is developing programs to take into high-school classrooms. These programs will be offered beginning in spring 2019.
As an education program that helps prepare students for life success, we purposefully located next to a Rio Salado College satellite facility to inspire students to look forward to furthering their potential through education and work-related training.
Q: How many individuals does your nonprofit help each year?
A: We help about 350 students each year.
Q: How do you gauge your success?
A: Over 1,000 students have participated in SPOT 127 after-school and summer programs. Students come from disadvantaged neighborhoods and lower socioeconomic households, with 75 percent of the students qualifying for free or reduced school-lunch programs.
Nearly 100 percent of the students who complete one semester of SPOT 127 graduate from high school. A majority of students attend college, often as the first one in their family to do so. Students take pre- and post-surveys when attending semester cohorts, two-week summer media boot camps and one-week summer-school programs offered in July.
One intended outcome is to improve technical and life skills. The survey measures improvement on a 1-10 scale for technical skills that include journalism fundamentals, video and audio production and editing, and digital photography and editing. Life skills include working as a member of a team, public interaction and speaking skills, conducting an interview, offering feedback and self-confidence.
A positive indicator for success is when an average three-point improvement for technical and life skills takes place. We also have exit interviews for feedback, plus conversations with parents, organizational partners and others to ensure the program is meeting student needs.
Often within these interviews, we are informed of experiences that have led to positive change. The sense of accomplishment that students experience in producing quality work carries forward into other areas of a student’s life.
Q: How many employees do you have?
A: We have five full-time employees and 10 part-time employees.
Q: What is your greatest need?
A: Our greatest need is to provide our services to a broader range of students. It is our goal to bring our programs into classrooms throughout the Valley, especially the many schools that do not offer digital photo, audio and video media instruction. In order to meet this goal, we will need additional instructional facilitators and digital equipment.
Five local schools and organizations have students who want to learn what the SPOT 127 program offers, but are unable to attend either location. It is our desire to meet this need and bring adapted programs to high schools across the greater Phoenix metropolitan region.
A one-week program taken to a school is approximately $3,000 and serves up to 30 students. We are grateful for all past, present, and future support that makes possible the ability to offer SPOT 127 learning activities and programs.
Q: How did you spend your Season for Sharing grant?
A: SPOT 127 spent the Season for Sharing award on instruction for students. In the past three years, eight student projects have been awarded the Rocky Mountain Region Emmy awards in student production.
How to donate to Season for Sharing
There are five ways to donate:
- Fill out the online form at sharing.azcentral.com.
- Use the coupon on 4A of The Arizona Republic and mail donations to P.O. Box 29250, Phoenix, AZ 85038-9250.
- Text “sharing” to 91-999 and click on the link in the text message.
- Click on the “donate” button at facebook.com/seasonforsharing.
- Shop at Dig It Gardens, 3015 N. 16th St., Phoenix. They will donate 2 percent of sales each weekend during the campaign. digphx.com.
Who is helped
Last year, 153 agencies received $2.2 million. Since 1993, more than $64 million has been distributed.
Where the money goes
It all stays in Arizona. One hundred percent of your donations and the matching funds go directly to nonprofit agencies in the state. All overhead and fundraising costs are paid by The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com.
How your dollars help
The Gannett Foundation and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust will multiply your donation by matching your gift 50 cents on the dollar up to $600,000.
READ MORE ABOUT SEASON FOR SHARING:
- Answers to your most common questions about Season for Sharing
- Buy a new book of Clay Thompson’s columns to support Season for Sharing
- Season for Sharing celebrates 25 years of giving
- How Season for Sharing began
Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2019/01/15/kjzz-provides-perfect-spot-budding-journalists-spot-127/2525637002/
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