CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Representatives from State Farm presented Franklin STEAM Academy in Champaign on Tuesday with an end-of-the-year gift in the form of a $17,500 charitable grant.

The grant was awarded as part of the Empowering Student Voices program. The program’s objective is to create an opportunity for students to engage in broadcasting daily news programs or podcasts. That includes equipping them with tools to learn about communication to empower their voices and teaching them how to create their own news, what is important to share with an audience and what research is necessary to provide balanced and accurate reporting.

State Farm spokespersons said Franklin will get things like iPad and computers to help. This equipment can be used in different classrooms to allow any teacher to help students.

“Empowering Student Voices came out of sitting in some classrooms and hearing their views, their opinions, how strongly they felt at Franklin and thinking ‘Oh gosh we got to capture this,'” said Franklin teacher Zanne Newman.

Students will also learn how to use editing software thanks to this grant.