A media arts class from Caledonia Secondary School was recognized with an award from the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) last month.
The class, in partnership with CFTK TV and RCMP Strategic Prevention Services, created a PSA video campaign geared towards online cyberbullying and sexting. Their work was then aired on the local TV channel, winning the BCAB’s Community Award in the small media market sector.
“I think it’s great for our community to get that exposure at the provincial level, it’s wonderful for our students to see their hard work win an award,” says media arts teacher Kristin Redpath.
“It’s great to just bring awareness to the topic as well… it’s something that we noticed in our school was an issue… that we thought was really important to address.”
Students worked with CFTK TV staff to learn how to make storyboards, write, film, edit and create graphics to make the PSA. This session was done in the previous academic year and also included making posters that were hung in businesses in the Terrace area to spread their message.
This is the school’s fourth year collaborating with CFTK TV to create PSAs, and they also received the same award in 2016 for their commercials against drinking and driving. Redpath says many students were intimidated at first approaching this topic but was taken aback by how many different ways they had thought of to deliver the same message.
“They just had so many ideas and translating it into a commercial was challenging for them. I was just surprised by how many ideas they had which is also kind of worrisome because obviously they’ve experienced that or their friends have, so they had a lot of experiences to draw on,” says Redpath.
“I see what goes on [with students] and I’m sure I only know half of it, but I just see what a challenge it is in their lives and how damaging it can be.”
Eighteen-year-old student Nadia Gifford, now in Grade 12, decided to make a PSA on her own and says it was a challenging project but she learned a lot about the power of multimedia.
“It’s really important because it’s a way to get into another person’s space, our brains can pick up so much with lighting and colour and there’s just so much we can experience by seeing things than just hearing about it,” Gifford explains. “We’re very visual nowadays so having these short and impactful visual media to get messages across really helps bring you there and connect you to things that you might not have previously thought of.”
Steve Pereira, CFTK TV’s operation manager, says this is a great award to win for their channel and the Terrace community as it brings attention from other broadcasters to the work they’re producing out here. It also teaches students critical storytelling skills and how media productions operate.
“[The competition is] against all of British Columbia so to see little CFTK TV win an award, it kind of turns heads and people are asking questions,” he says. “It was outside of the box for your typical community service submissions… and to have these kids do something cool and have other media outlets see it — is massive.”