SIPA awards Technology Grant to Sparkman High School


Lauren Harper

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Sept. 1, 2015) – The Southern Interscholastic Press Association announced today the journalism programs at Sparkman High School (Harvest, Alabama) are the recipients of the 2015 SIPA Endowment Technology Grant.

“The Technology Grant Committee loved how Sparkman High’s journalism programs wanted to enhance the equipment and the skills they had already by adding audio equipment to their arsenal,” said Leslie Dennis, director of scholastic media organizations. “Adding microphones to their equipment list will broaden their coverage and the skills journalism students need to learn.”

Erin Coggins, adviser to The Crimson Crier, The Crimson Crier News and The Senator at Sparkman, said in her application her students need to advance their reporting skills and create full broadcast packages.endowmentlogo

“We have learned that an all-around journalist should be able to write, shoot video and photograph,” said Coggins. “This equipment would get us into a full-fledged journalism program. We are not funded by our school, and therefore, we must raise all of our money. This equipment would help our program grow the journalists of today and allow us to broaden the offerings of the program.

Sparkman High School’s journalism programs have until the end of the year to use their grant.

Coggins will speak at the 2016 SIPA Convention (March 4-6), telling about how the publications benefited from the grant.

“Winning this grant shows me, as well as future winners, that someone cares about scholastic journalism. There is an organization that cares enough to ensure schools have the proper equipment to be successful,” said Coggins. “I’m just over the moon.”

The first SIPA Endowment Technology Grant was awarded in 2014. The SIPA Endowment Committee created the grant for scholastic journalism students to have the means to purchase necessary technology software or hardware to enhance their publications. Last year’s recipient was Wellington High School (Wellington, Florida) under adviser Mary Inglis.

About SIPA:

The Southern Interscholastic Press Association is a not-for-profit organization of middle and high school journalism programs. We educate students and advisers on journalism standards, support publications and programs and promote journalistic values and freedoms in classrooms throughout the Southeast.