Help your students’ PSAs find their public
But once the PSAs get made, how can you help them find an authentic audience?
Go on TV or the radio: it’s easier than you’d think.
Public, educational and government access television (known collectively as PEG) maintain public access television channels for content created by community members. Vermont actually has the highest number of PEG stations per capita in the country: 26 community access centers that sponsor 40 different television channels.
Here’s a PSA made entirely on an iPad, by students at Essex Middle School as part of a series they worked on with the Burlington-based community access television group RETN:
Find the access center in your community through this searchable map:
Turn on the radio
Partner with a local community radio station in crafting recorded and live PSAs to go out on air. Most community radio stations are required by the FCC to air a certain number of PSAs in order to keep their non-commercial licenses, and all of them can offer professional-quality recording facilities. Many stations accept online submission of PSAs, such as WVUD (University of Delaware), WUVT (Virginia Tech), KPFA (Berkeley & Fresno, CA)* and Vermont’s own WOOL.
WYTC-LP 89.1 might also be a great place to start for some advice: the station’s run entirely by Lamoille Union Middle and High School students.
Power up with community partners
Community organizations are proud to partner with students on PSAs, and promoting their message in the community will be part of their business plan. Don’t be shy about asking them to share your PSA broadly through both their conventional and online media channels.
Approach civic leaders
The Elks National Drug Partnership sponsors the Peers to Peers Partnership, helping more widely distribute student-made PSAs. That’s their whole jam!
The Vermont Department of Health sponsors an annual PSA contest around the theme of tick & Lyme Disease safety:
To enter, students in grades 9-12 submit a 60-second public service announcement (PSA) style video by May 1, 2015. This is a great opportunity for students to be creative while they learn about Lyme disease and educate others on the topic. The top three winners will receive prizes in the form of a gift card (up to $100), and the videos will be submitted to play on local television stations.
You can check out some of last year’s winners here.
Collaborate with other classes
What about seeing if your class could pair up with theirs, compare community issues, and collaborate on PSAs? Or perhaps the two groups of students could provide feedback on each others’ work? What about swapping PSAs and publicizing each others work in very different communities?
Ask fellow educators to share
twitter remains one of the most powerful PLNs for educators out there, so don’t be afraid to share your student work (with permission, natch) and ask others to signal boost.
— Kyle Calderwood (@kcalderw) July 1, 2014
Share your students’ PSAs in the comments!
We’ll do our part to get their message out.
*While PSAs are most effective when they’re made locally, featuring local people and focusing on local issues, we have no idea where you beautiful people are all reading this from. Check your local listings for details.