Since you asked: Behind the video of referendum supporters

Since you asked: Behind the video of referendum supporters

TODAY'S ONLINE QUESTION: What's the story behind the clever Friends of Champaign Schools video on YouTube?

The more college campuses he visits, the more Austin Maltbia realizes he hasn't been exposed to top-of-the-line technology at Centennial High School.

"I've noticed universities have a lot of technology that I don't feel prepared to use at all after high school," the senior said. "I think our schools are somewhat behind and we really need to catch up to be better prepared for the future."

That's why Maltbia volunteered to be filmed for the most recent effort to promote Unit 4's $149 million high school facilities project: a 2-minute "Vote YES" video, produced by Champaign's Shatterglass Studios and co-starring nine students. 

In the spot, students talk about the struggles they face in some Champaign schools ("Freshman and sophomore year, the cafeteria was always really bad and really crowded," one says) and how important first-rate schools are to their futures ("With the way education is evolving in our time and age, you need to make an investment," says another.)

None of the kids is identified in the video, but all volunteered and have parents who support the referendum, according to Friends of Champaign Schools chairman Dan Ditchfield.

Shatterglass donated its time to film, edit and produce the video. "I'm a Unit 4 parent and the school district is definitely something we want to support," says company co-owner Brett Hays.

With Election Day nearing, the grassroots Friends group has been campaigning both the old-fashioned way (75 requests for yard signs in the last week, Ditchfield said) and the new-media way (their Facebook page was up to 610 likes Thursday).

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Joe American wrote on October 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm

A well produced, flashy video isn't enough to hide a poorly planned & proposed referendum.

I'm sill voting NO.