Rome Middle School’s tech teacher, Aubrey Thronton, and Rome High School’s, Mike Beavers, were awarded a grant this week from Educational Sports Entertainment (ESE) Network that gifted a substantial amount of audio/visual equipment to the schools’ tech program.

The grant included new equipment such as, two Sony video cameras, three Apple iPads, multiple tri-pods, additional lenses for the iPads, and more. John Manget, representative of ESE Networks, describes the donation of equipment as a “studio in a box.”

“Our goal is to have the students ready for the booming film and television industry that is going on around the state, right out of high school. We, at ESE, want to provide an alternative to college if students are interested and this gives them an opportunity to have other options,” said Manget.

Rome Middle School students, Jade Lizin and Darlyn Morales, host the morning show every day, as well as make announcements to help Rome Middle to stay in the loop during school hours. “We are most excited about the opportunity to make the work that we do look more professional. We have so much fun filming and learning new aspects of technology that we would otherwise never have known before, so to be able to access this type of exclusive equipment is very important,” Lizin said.

The Tech Grant plays an important role in the Career Technology Agriculture Education (CTAE) Program, which is a pathway that Rome Middle is offering. The middle school tech program can foster support and eventually feed into the high school tech program.

At Rome High, students use their tech time to put together the hype videos played at football games, radio broadcasts and more. They also offer animation classes, video classes and students are beginning to venture in to film as the industry in Georgia. “We are hoping this new equipment grows the middle school and high school tech classes, and brings them together, especially with all of the support that both tech classes are getting from ESE. We are so thankful that ESE loves supporting education, as they have not only given us a ton of

equipment for our kids to learn and train on, but they have given us the ability to extend our reach to students who otherwise would not move into this field,” stated Beavers.

Rome Middle School’s Assistant Principal, Dr. Christy Epps agreed that this support gives students an option to be creative while also preparing them for high school and beyond. “I have watched our students create so many unique things like the morning show, ‘A Day in the Life of a Rome Middle Student’, and more. I believe that a curriculum, such as this, is what keeps all of the students connected because it is essentially peers interacting with other peers. They do a really great job,” said Dr. Epps.

“It’s not about me, the school or anyone else who is involved in the process, but it’s about the kids. They are gaining pertinent experience and real-world knowledge,” said Thornton. “It is so much fun to watch these students learn and grow, and that is the most exciting part about this grant.”