Students in Shepaug Valley schools will soon have access to professional level classes and internships in video production.

The Region 12 school district recently received a Public, Educational and Governmental Programming and Education Technology Investment Account grant.

The grant was awarded based on the region's application in October hoping to provide equipment, construct a television studio and video-editing computer lab to support the creation of a video production career pathway.

To date, there has not been a career pathway at Shepaug in the field of video production.

The Career Pathways Initiative is a national workforce development program and a key component of Connecticut Secondary School Reform designed to connect classwork with post-secondary education and careers.

Region 12 will partner with Charter Communications in Newtown to provide internships and additional professional experiences to students interested in a career in video production.

The grant also provides funding in the amount of $23,240 to upgrade the broadcasting equipment installed at Shepaug more than 10 years ago to allow for the Channel 17 educational access station through Charter Communication.

The new equipment will allow Region 12 to schedule programs and to broadcast live, as well as providing a means for Video on Demand.

This would allow the station to be a much better method of communicating happenings in the schools and for providing an authentic audience for students enrolled in the career pathway.

The grant allows for the purchase of $20,447.16 in studio equipment, including cameras, a TriCaster system, monitors and portable lighting.

An additional $50,000 is included for the installation of a lighting grid into the newly constructed television studio.

A video-editing lab with MacIntosh computers and professional grade software is also approved, although the amount has been decreased from the original request of $34,386.26 for 25 computers to $18,000.

An additional $11,570 is approved to help provide training for the teachers who will be teaching the video production classes.

It is expected the television studio would be constructed and equipped during this summer and teacher training would commence soon.

The grant supports community organizations by providing access to the television studio, staffed by student production crews.

"This will enhance the student production experience through work with real-world clients," said Dr. Pat Cosentino, Region 12 superintendent of schools.