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Cuyahoga County launches nationally supported youth media project



Cuyahoga County, through a public-private partnership of the Family & Children First Council (FCFC), attracted national dollars to support a youth media project. Students from the first class will complete their training on March 9, 2011, and the next class will begin later that month.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a grant to train youth to be effective community contributors to local news. “MyMedia” is training 20 middle and high-school students from Greater Cleveland to report on topics important to their neighborhoods. The classes launched on December 15 at the Idea Center, a hub of media creation in Greater Cleveland.

The project is one of only 19 granted nationwide in 2010 through the Knight Community Information Challenge. Kailyne Waters, formerly with Scenarios youth film project, is serving as Project Manager. Sam Allard is the classroom instructor, welcoming many guests from the local media world, including the training’s first guest speaker, Margaret Bernstein of The Plain Dealer. Basheer Jones of TV20 is also lending his talents to the project.

The project received an extra boost when WVIZ/PBS IdeaStream partnered with MyMedia for a Project VoiceScape grant from the PBS and Adobe Foundations, winning the chance for top storytellers from the MyMedia project to work with IdeaStream staff to develop high-quality multi-media projects to submit to a National Call for Entries managed by Point of View (POV). This part of the project will launch later in 2011.

As a project of the MyCom youth development network managed by FCFC, MyMedia is advancing MyCom’s goals of providing increased numbers of enriching opportunities for the students of Greater Cleveland and supporting neighborhood progress through youth. The Knight grant was awarded to The Cleveland Foundation.

The goal with the training is to see an immediate increase in youth voice in local media outlets through products students create, and to increase the media literacy among the youth of neighborhoods in Greater Cleveland.

Learn more about MyMedia.