The Stardust Foundation is awarding a $510,000 grant to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University to fund high school journalism programs.
The grant is intended to fund the creation of journalism programs in underserved high schools in the state of Arizona.
Ten Arizona high schools will be selected to participate in the Stardust High School Journalism Program which aims to create multimedia newsrooms in each school and teach faculty and students about the skills and ethics of professional journalism.
“The communication skills the students will learn in this program will be useful to them, regardless of their chosen profession,” said Stardust founder Jerry Bisgrove.
The Cronkite School hired Anita Luera as the new director for programs that reach out to high schools. Luera will help identify many of the schools that will be considered for assistance by the Stardust program.
Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said the program is the first university-based initiative in the nation to create multimedia newsrooms in high schools.
“High school journalism programs provide students with opportunities to improve their writing and interpersonal skills and give school communities a forum for news and exchange of ideas,” Callahan said.
According to Callahan, a majority of journalists developed their interest in the profession by exposure to high school newspapers. He believes reaching underserved high schools without multimedia programs will create more aspiring journalists
“ASU is committed to making a difference in the lives of our community members, and the Stardust High School Journalism Program is certain to make a lasting impact on the lives of the participating students,” said ASU President Michael Crow.
“In today’s fast-paced, information-driven world, effective communication is vital to achieving success in all facets of one’s life,” Bisgrove said.
The Scottsdale-based Stardust Foundation is a non-profit corporation founded in 1993. The foundation awards grants to organizations that impact the concepts of family and neighborhood stability.
Applications for schools interested in participating in the Stardust program must be submitted by Oct. 12. Schools may contact Anita Luera at (480) 965-5477.