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Flowery Branch Elementary using GoFundMe page to replace student broadcast equipment
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Flowery Branch Elementary news anchors Kaycie Smith, left, and Azul Mendoza demonstrate their morning school news broadcast Thursday afternoon in their tiny studio in the school's media center. The school has started a GoFundMe project to purchase new broadcasting equipment to replace its aging monitors and other equipment.

How to help

Go to the school’s GoFundMe page.

Flowery Branch Elementary School’s newsroom is a decade behind.

Equipment 30 students use daily for broadcasts are in a state of disrepair and librarian Karen Hickey wants an update.

She created a GoFundMe page requesting donations in the amount of $4,265. The school had been able to collect $1,315 as of 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Hall County Schools finance officer Jonathan Boykin said the system doesn’t have a policy in place for schools that create GoFundMe pages.

However, the district plans to develop a policy within the next few days to address the situation. He said most likely the rules will depend on each circumstance and the pros and cons will be weighed.

Every student at Flowery Branch watches the broadcasts, including Stacie Wilson’s two children.

“I know the schools are on a limited budget and things like the media department may get overlooked,” Wilson said. “I love that they offer to let the kids participate in the production side.”

Wilson was able to donate some money to the cause, which would go toward a quote Hickey got from Nisewonger Audio Visual at the beginning of February with the exact costs.

“It would take years to piece together the funds that are needed for new studio equipment,” she said.

The price covers an audio visual mixer, a new camera, two microphones, lighting, wires and installation. School funds will buy two flatscreen monitors to replace old TVs bought at Goodwill.

Hickey’s husband will create a new anchor desk.

“Although there is an annual budget for the media center, there are other needs involved with running the school library which have priority,” she said.

The budget is based on the number of students enrolled and the school improvement plan.

Before opting for the Gofundme fundraiser, she had bought replacement parts at Goodwill, solicited help from parents and dealt with the other technical difficulties.

“The kids are so excited about the opportunity to have new equipment. They ask me daily how the fundraising is going,” Hickey said.

Updating now will benefit not only all the students at the school now, but for years to come.

“We want to provide our school with up to date equipment that is reliable and provides the best learning experience for our students,” Hickey said.

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