New Initiatives Grant Final Report

“OPaL’s News Network”

Please provide a brief narrative explaining your project and its outcomes.

Our project offered kids an opportunity to learn about reporting and creating a story from a documentary film maker, Ramona Persaud. Ramona created three instructional videos that led viewers through the process of developing, shooting and editing a story. Originally we intended to have in person workshops for this, but COVID led us to a video based workshop, which will ultimately benefit many more kids in the future.

Kid reporters were able to use the library’s GoPro which was purchased with grant funds to create a video news story about anything they wanted to report on. They were then able to edit their videos in our new studio.

I was surprised to see that the average age of participation was younger than I had anticipated. Also, that the number of participants was fewer than expected. I feel that both of these were heavily influenced by the pandemic. Many families were not participating in activities outside of school for quite some time and I have seen a large decline in tween and teen participation in the past year.

Our project began just as the COVID pandemic was arriving. We also had a wonderful but unfortunately timed delay due to a move to our new facility. In order for the library to move into it’s new location, we were closed for some time. Between the shutdown for COVID and our move, it pushed out our timeline greatly. We appreciated the extension very much.

What is the most remarkable accomplishment or finding of your project?

While the average age was younger than anticipated, I found it heartwarming to see the excitement on the faces of those who did participate. The kids who created news stories were so excited to share what they had created using technology that would normally be assumed for an older group. It seemed to fuel their interest in the library by helping them realize that we are more than just books.

Anything else you’d like us to know?

We greatly appreciate your understanding with the extension requests. Your support shown by this extension and also financially by awarding this grant are so appreciated. We were so excited to offer something different to our kids here in Oneida and you made it possible!

Megan Gillander

Youth Services Coordinator, Oneida Public Library

Are you interested in being our next New Initiatives Grant recipient? Check out theĀ grant page for the rules & requirements!