Educational work supported by the Kent Community Foundation (http://www.kentcf.org.uk/)
The Kent Community Foundation are a long-standing supporter of Academy FM. They manage a variety of funds, and have considerable experience and knowledge of Kent's charity sector. We're very grateful for their support.
For 2018, Academy FM benefits from a Core Support grant, which goes towards the overheads of our organisation. We are not the type of radio station that has a commercial sound and format that prioritises advertising sales - we prioritise our work supporting young people and the local community. It costs a lot to run an educational charity and radio station, and the KCF's Core Support grant goes towards our overheads that include salaries, license fees, technical support, office costs and other outgoings. Their support helps us manage and deliver the variety of educational work and community projects and broadcasting we do.
The KCF also currently support us with a grant from the Brook Trust & Lawson Endowment Fund. This is for an employability project that works with children as young as 10 years old. In our previous work, we've found that by the time teenagers reach age 15, some still don't have a clue what careers or pathways they'd like to take after their GCSEs. Also, for the ones that do have an idea what career they're interested in, most don't actually know much about these careers and what it's like working in particular sectors. The KCF funds support a unique project where we work with children in Years 6-10, and help them research careers and record interviews with people working in these sectors. The young people get first-hand advice, and this gets recorded so other young people can benefit. At the end of the project, all the audio will form a Careers Advice resource on this website, for any school to use.
In 2016-17 the Kent Community Foundation funded some of our educational work through their ‘Children, Young People & the Community Themed Fund’. This supported Academy FM’s work with a large number of young people. Every week we worked with students from one of the Yr7 Literacy students from the Academy who record a show that’s broadcast on Friday evenings, and students from the Folkestone Primary Academy who broadcast a live show on Monday at 2pm – over the course of the year we worked with over 40 students from Yr6. We can work with such large amounts of students over the course of a year because a different pair comes to us every week – they are selected by their class teachers which means that the students who will benefit more (or who deserve a reward) come down several times over the course of the year. We have also done some other work with Yr7 students, where they use the studios to record texts they are studying in class.
We also hosted two groups of students who produced live shows as part of their ‘Society’ time on Monday and Thursday from 4pm – the radio station is part of the Academy’s ‘Performance Society’ and our work gives students the opportunity to be creative in a new way that isn’t on the stage. In addition to this, school staff selected a number of students who would benefit from the environment of the station and we host them at a variety of times during the week.
The students gain increased confidence, communication skills, and their understanding of a working environment increases. It also gives them yet another positive thing to experience as part of Academy life. The improvements in students is monitored, and the results (along with comments from parents and staff) point to our work being a very positive force in helping our young people mature.