The Channel 15 initiative spearheaded by LAUNCH will be a win-win-win for all those involved. The business community gets an opportunity to support these extracurricular programs while getting acknowledgement on Channel 15, the students get to participate in learning the skills of producing a robust set of broadcast programs, the school system gets to communicate to the public the many activities it promotes and supports throughout its system, and finally, adults and students get to work together in a creative endeavor. 

There are many compelling stories of individual and group achievement that encapsulate these extracurricular programs. The Channel 15 initiative is an opportunity to cover and celebrate these achievements.  Anyone involved in MMTV or METV production knows that local cable channels are far more popular than one might imagine.   While one does not need to chase the paparazzi away, a la Ben and J. Lo, “hey I saw you on TV” is a staple of conversation down on Main Street.  Thus, a key part of this effort is the fund-raising potential of Channel 15.  LAUNCH has developed a series of sponsorship options for Channel 15 that range from $100 individual memberships to platinum corporate sponsorships at $10,000. Detailed information as well as promotional video clips can be found at our newly “launched” website, www.MelroseLaunch.Org.   A series of membership levels are available for small and medium sized businesses.  Some of the sponsorship opportunities available include:

·     Sporting events for a full year, full season or individual team;

·     Cultural/arts programming including band, chorus, orchestra, drama club and art exhibits

·     School-related programming including elementary school programs, middle school programs, Superintendent/principal talk shows, and Middle School construction updates.

The style of recognition will be similar to that of public broadcasting.  All those contributing $100 or more per year will be recognized on the air.  Efforts are underway now to contact potential sponsors in Melrose and the Boston region.  Since the scope of this effort is enormous (the Melrose Chamber of Commerce alone has over 900 members) volunteer help will be greatly valued.  We urge you to stop by and visit our booth at the Victorian Fair, September 12th.

The funds raised will be used to enhance the extracurricular programs of the Melrose school system as well as to support and improve Channel 15 and its activities.  There are currently 22 members on the LAUNCH board but any citizen of Melrose can join LAUNCH free of charge and is welcome to attend meetings.  LAUNCH welcomes input into funding decisions from all Melrose residents. 

The most important aspect of this initiative is that it represents a new way of thinking about our educational system and the needs of our youth.  Over the past few years, our thinking has been defensive, focusing on what we can salvage during difficult financial times.  It is time to think differently by aggressively seeking innovative ways to use existing resources.  We CAN do things better and smarter, be leaders, and strive to be the best.  We CAN take problems and turn them into opportunities.   As adults we try to teach these lessons to our youth.  Now is the time to look in the mirror and apply these lessons ourselves.