Student in the SLNN Newsroom

Giving students an opportunity to try new things by breaking out of the normal school day setting, Salem Lions News Network is helping students learn real-life skills and promoting all the great things going on at Salem Community School at the same time. 

SLNN is led by SHS teacher J.D. Wade-Swift and is open to all students at SHS. Recently, they applied for a Community Development and Improvement Program through David Miller at Hoosier Uplands and received $5,000 in funding.

“As the broadcast team and Salem Lions News Network continues to grow, our equipment has become outdated based on the needs of particular events and the manner of producing the events,” said Wade-Swift. “New equipment and new software means the students will have more work. They have to learn how to use the equipment and software for SLNN. It keeps the broadcast club fresh and challenging.”

There are currently 20-25 students involved in SLNN. The group was created in 2018 as a collaboration between Wade-Swift’s interactive media class and a group of students that wanted to do broadcasting outside of the normal school day. 

“Holden Kidd is one of the co-founders of SLNN and Ty Sweeney has been, and continues to be, an important member,” said Wade-Swift. 

He said the goal now is to take that grant money and continue building the program with updating equipment and increasing participation from current students. 

“The challenge to any program is to keep it fresh,” said Wade-Swift. “Any successful program could become stagnant and decline, thus the challenge to keep students involved. By growing the program with this grant we can keep students in the program now engaged, and make it more attractive to recruit others.”

According to a press release, the Hoosier Uplands Community Development & Improvement Program (CDIP) was established in 2012 and is a locally funded program that provides funding to cities, towns, counties, non profit agencies or businesses, located in Lawrence, Orange, Washington, Martin, and Crawford Counties. Generally this program may provide all or part of funding for a project that is shown to enhance or revitalize downtowns and neighborhoods, promote economic development/ job creation, improve living conditions or community resources, increase handicap accessibility, assist public safety, or decrease blighted areas.