Secaucus, N.J. - A team of
students from Val Verde High School in Perris, Calif. was selected from among 60
schools across the U.S. as the winners of the 21st annual Panasonic Kid Witness News (KWN) program.
The students were selected as the winners of the U.S. Video of
The Year for presenting an "insightful and moving video on teen suicide,"
The KWN program is a Panasonic-inspired year-long, in-school
video education program and competition.
The winning Val Verde High School team traveled to Panasonic
Corporation of North America's headquarters in New Jersey for the KWN New
Vision Awards ceremony along with fellow finalists Maui High School (Maui, HI),
Rachel B. Noel Middle School (Denver, CO) and Kingston High School (Kingston,
The latter schools also won awards for presenting creative videos
on social issues such as surviving cancer, the dangers of texting and body image.
Developed and funded by Panasonic, Kid Witness News encourages
hands-on video education to develop cognitive, communication and organizational
skills through the use of video.
Panasonic provides each
participating school with a complete Digital Video Studio and suggested
guidelines to augment the school's curriculum to encourage the children to
express their hopes and concerns about the world around them.
Under teacher supervision, the students create, produce, direct
and edit video shorts on a wide range of topics including current events and
issues relevant to today's youth for submission in the yearly competition.
Participating schools this year received a Panasonic professional
HD video camera, Panasonic said.
The program began in 1989 with one school in New Jersey and has
since grown to include participants from 60 schools throughout the United
States and 679 schools worldwide.
The winning Val Verde High School video entitled "Without Me," also
received a KWN New Vision Award.
The four finalist schools and U.S. Video of the Year were
selected by an independent panel of professionals comprised of educators,
broadcasters, journalists, entertainers and industry leaders, who volunteer
their time and expertise.
Videos submitted for the KWN New Vision Awards were initially
reviewed by students and faculty from the Bronx Community College Film Division
(Bronx, NY) with the top videos submitted for a final round of judging by the
Each of this year's four finalist schools received a KWN New
Vision Award trophy, a banner and a Winners Weekend which includes an all
expense paid trip to the New Jersey/New York area for the awards program and a
day in NYC.
In addition, the Val Verde High School U.S. Video of the Year
team will receive a suite of Panasonic 3D products including a Viera Full HD 3D
Plasma Television, 3D Blu-ray Player, 3D Camcorder and 3D Active Shutter
Val Verde will also go on to represent the U.S. in the Panasonic
Global Kid Witness News Awards which will be held on July 21 at Universal
Studios in Hollywood, Calif. where their video will compete against finalists
representing 26 countries from around the world.