CMAP to set up shop at CHS

CMAP at work.

Christopher High School is getting hooked up with a sweet new campus connection for the next four years.

On Thursday, the Gilroy Board of Education unanimously approved a special agreement between the Gilroy Unified School District and the Community Media Access Partnership.

Known as CMAP, the nonprofit education and government access media center serving Gilroy, Hollister and San Juan Bautista – which is losing its facility space at Gavilan College next year – will temporarily set up shop inside a vacant 1,600 square foot indoor area near the cafeteria and library at CHS. The term of the agreement between the district and CMAP begins July 1 and expires June 30, 2016.

CMAP will pay utility and custodial costs to the district as it continues catering to students and the public, who will have access to the facility via the high school’s north parking lot.

“We’ve been working on this for almost a year,” said CHS Principal John Perales, who is thrilled to have CMAP at his students’ disposal. “We’re a digital media pathway school, and with those guys on board now, it’s just going to provide our students with a ton of opportunity to learn – whether its filming or sound editing.”

During its first year at CHS, students will most likely be utilizing the CMAP facility after school and on the weekends. CHS staff is working to create a class students can take during school hours, however.

The center will be stashed with digital post-production editing equipment, a portable camera field production package, a portable multi-camera switched production system, one television studio facility, Macbook laptops and iPads. Students and local residents can become trained in the areas of media, technology, digital storytelling, camera, lighting, audio equipment, claymation, studio and field production, sportscasting, Facebook and Twitter and posting videos online. Once trained, students and residents can become members to check out equipment to create their own TV productions.

“In this emerging world of digital media, CMAP is positioned to offer students of GUSD real-life 21st century skills,” said CMAP Executive Director Kathy Bisbee. “Our media literacy programs provide a positive after school activity to local youth, teaching critical thinking skills, teamwork, communication, confidence and self-expression.”

CMAP will also offer classes at its new location at 60 Fourth St., Suite 207 in downtown Gilroy, and at its Hollister location at 829 San Benito Street, Suite 200. 

For those unfamiliar with CMAP, its productions air on local channels 17 through 20 and are available on the Charter Communications cable system throughout Gilroy, Hollister and San Juan Bautista. The nonprofit organization aims to “create community dialogue, voice, expression, government transparency and free speech through cable access and Internet distribution channels,” according to its website. CMAP is also focused on developing leadership, job and life skills, teamwork, media and technology literacy, critical thinking skills and self-reliance in youth and adults.

CMAP will begin its move to CHS in late summer, followed by community grand opening event in fall 2012. In the meantime, CMAP will be open for business at Gavilan College through the fall.

Click here to learn more about CMAP.

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