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Teacher hopes to sell videos of school events

September 18, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - If Robert Perks has his way, scores of parents with video cameras in hand at school events will be a thing of the past.

A county employee who oversees the school system's television station and teaches a TV production class, Perks hopes to sell taped copies of school events for $15 each.

Proceeds will help fund the television station and could, down the road, help pay expenses incurred when the school system switches from analog to digital TV equipment, said R. Steven Nichols, Jefferson Schools superintendent.

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After Perks' presentation at their meeting Tuesday night, board of education members approved the concept. They will hear a more detailed proposal from Perks later, possibly at their next meeting in two weeks, Nichols said.

Of the money raised, $1 will be used to pay for the tape itself, $5 will go to the school that hosted the event which was taped, and $10 will be used to maintain the county's TV station and pay for equipment - estimated to cost a little less than $5,000 - needed to duplicate tapes.

Twenty-four students in Perks' TV class, broken up into four production teams, will tape 168 events this year, ranging from sporting events to news and talk shows, Perks said.

Even school board meetings are recorded. At the meeting Tuesday at the county's ninth-grade complex off Flowing Springs Road, Perks' students kept a close eye on three cameras trained on board members, occasionally making adjustments to focus on the person speaking. Some events, like the meeting, are broadcast on the county's cable channel, while others are taped and archived. Both would be available for purchase, Perks said.

"It's a service, rather than a fund-raiser," he said.

Plans are under way for increased coverage of athletic, academic and cultural events, Perks said.

JCS-TV has been on the air since March 27, 2000, and has an annual operating budget of $20,000, Perks said.

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