Interactive C-SPAN Bus Visits Local Tuscaloosa Schoo

The C-SPAN Bus, touring the nation to educate middle school, high school and college students about the cable network, made a stop in Tuscaloosa, Ala. today, beginning at Central High School and later moving to Trinity United Methodist Church.

C-SPAN Bus Visits Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jennifer Curran, a marketing representative for C-SPAN (Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network), travels with the bus and speaks

to students across the United States. She also judges their documentary competition for middle school and high school students. This year, the competition theme is “Dear Mr. President,” prompting students to inform President Obama about issues important to them. Winners receive monetary prizes.

Curran was kind enough to set aside time to speak with my reporting writing across media class before Central high school students came aboard the bus. She explained what C-SPAN is, describing it as an unbiased, unpartisan, commercial-less nonprofit cable network that features newsworthy political meetings in a “fly on the wall” manner–meaning there is no reporter interpreting what is discussed during the meeting covered.  Basically, a camera crew goes around the United States filming important government meetings from beginning to end, or, as Curran says, from “gable-to-gable.”

Though the bus appears big, the interior is packed with computers, televisions and cabinets, making the quarters a tight squeeze for a big group like ours. Remarkably, my class as well as a high school class was able to fit inside. Unfortunately, I only had my measly iphone for taking pictures and video, so here are some more clear pictures from News-Sun.

All in all, I think the C-SPAN Bus is a great tool to educate young students about becoming active within their community. Giving those who are often neglected a voice is an experience beneficial to society as a whole, providing the world with multiple perspectives that would otherwise never be heard.

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Never too Young

The Bryant Conference Center at The University of Alabama hosted the 13th annual National Outreach Scholarship Conference themed “Partner. Inspire. Change.” Sept. 30-Oct. 3, bringing together universities and communities from all over the country.

The event was a great way to showcase the way local and national communities have come together to better their homes. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend one speech, but Dr. George Daniels, my reporting and writing across media professor, was able to attend several speeches.

As an active member of the Tuscaloosa community, Dr. Daniels watched several of his students, both past and present, display their hard work and dedication to changing the community at the NOSC 2012. Knowing that young children are already working to better the place they call home is a comforting thought for the future.

Although I was unable to attend the majority of the festivities, I was able to hear one discussion on “Engaging Youth, Engaging Neighborhoods” given by Notre Dame faculty member Maria McKenna, three Tennessee high school students and Thomas Davis in the Wilson room of the Bryant Conference Center. The discussion was slightly dry, but seeing HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS impacting their hometown’s government was inspirational.

Seeing such young people influencing their community makes me realize that at the old age of 21, I, too, may change the world around me. I don’t need to be a high powered, authority figure to make a difference.

Having the courage, confidence in one’s own ability and volition to see a problem and fix it is the core to improving a community, even the world. THAT is beautiful.

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