Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Press Foundation award grants to 16 school journalism programs

June 5, 2024

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Press Foundation today announce the awarding of grants to 16 high school journalism efforts throughout the state. The awards are part of the Illinois High School Journalism Grants Program offered by the Illinois Press Foundation and financially sponsored for a fourth consecutive year by Illinois Farm Bureau.

More than $22,000 total in grants will be distributed to the schools in the fall to pay for laptops, cameras, broadcasting equipment, newspaper printing costs, website hosting fees and more. The Illinois Press Foundation Board of Directors’ Education Committee approved the grant recipients.

“Just as the industry is changing at a rapid pace in newsrooms across the state, how students are learning about and practicing journalism in Illinois high schools is quickly evolving as well,” said Jeff Rogers, executive director of the Illinois Press Foundation. “Journalists do everything these days. There are few specialists. And journalists at the high school level are writing, editing, shooting photos and videos, producing newspapers, running websites, doing broadcast pieces. They’re doing a lot of everything.”

Which is among the reasons Illinois Farm Bureau supports scholastic journalists through this grant program.

“Helping these students develop and grow is rewarding,” said Matt Wettersten, executive director of marketing news and communications at Illinois Farm Bureau, as he congratulated the 2024 grant recipients. “We had more applicants this year than we have had in any year of our affiliation with the program. That tells us two things. The need for financial assistance is real. But also the interest in our grant program, and in journalism at the high school level, is growing. We’re proud to help in that way.”

All schools will receive their grant checks during on-site visits in August and September. Of the 16 schools receiving grants, 11 are doing so for the first time during the IPF-IFB partnership.


This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Altamont Community High School: $1,500 for 2 DSLR camera bundles and a telephoto style lens.
  • Amundsen High School, Chicago: $1,500 for the cost of printing physical copies of the student newspaper.
  • Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond High School, Arthur: $1,200 for an ultra wide angle camera lens and warranty, zoom lens with warranty, and a camera tripod.
  • Carterville High School: $1,500 for 2 to 4 iPads and 2 Adobe Creative Cloud Suite subscriptions.
  • Champaign Central High School: $1,000 for 2 years of subscriptions to the SnoSites website/online publishing system.


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  • Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago: $1,500 for a smartphone teleprompter, smartphone stabilizer/selfie stick, lavalier mics, digital wireless mics, headphones splitter, chargers, and batteries.
  • Edwardsville High School: $1,164.58 for 4 headphones, digital voice recorder, 3 microphones, a desk chair, and neon studio sign for studio space
  • Elgin High School: $1,500 for a video recorder, lavalier mics, a handheld mic, a tripod and a teleprompter.
  • Harlem High School: $1,500 for School Newspaper Online FLEX WordPress setup fee and hosting & support fee, a SNO Flow project management system and personalized training sessions, and registration for a journalism conference.
  • Kenwood Academy High School, Chicago: $1,500 for a 1-year subscription to Issu; a subscription to MakeMyNewspaper; 5 headset mics; an online subscription to USA Today, Chicago Tribune and Washington Post; a camera with lens, SD memory card, tripod, flash, backpack and accessories.
  • Normal Community High School: $1,490 for a wireless video transmission system, 4 studio boom arms for broadcast mics, and a tripod kit.
  • Ogden International High School, Chicago: $1,440.40 for Top Web printing of student publication on higher-quality paper and more pages per issue, and a camera with 2 lenses.
  • Oswego High School: $1,500 for 3 cameras with accessories.
  • Red Bud High School: $1,000 for a 1-year subscription to Sno sites to host the digital paper, and also for a laptop computer.
  • Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago: $1,500 to fund the printing of quarterly print editions and website upgrades.
  • Whitney Young High School, Chicago: $1,500 for 3 4K video mirrorless cameras, 3 microphones, a field recorder, a video mic camera mount, and a tripod.


Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 364,452 and a farmer membership of 75,959. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

The Illinois Press Foundation is dedicated to promoting and protecting free expression through educational activities that foster the practice and respect of First Amendment principles and values, to enhance the quality of services provided by newspapers to their communities, and to support reading and literacy efforts.

The IPF was established in 1982. Its news service, Capitol News Illinois, has provided daily coverage of state government for Illinois’ newspapers since it was formed in 2019. The Foundation also sponsors annual summer journalism workshops for high school students at Eastern Illinois University and University of Illinois-Springfield, scholarships for students in the UIS Public Affairs Reporting program, and in the fall will award grants to collegiate journalism programs.


**Editor’s Note: If you find the story here of value, consider clicking one of the Google ads embedded in the story. It costs you nothing but Google will give the website owner a few cents. This is a way to help support local news at no cost to the reader.