production crew

Telecom and Youth Development joined forces for a successful live-stream event: The NNPS Virtual Block Party. It was held September 10 and featured local guests, performers, prize drawings, and lots of excitement about the new school year.

It was streamed live on the Telecom student YouTube channel.

COVID-19 restrictions have severely limited students coming together and going back to school the usual way, so high school students from Telecom and Youth Development found a way to encourage fellow students and mark the start of school.

The idea for the Virtual Block Party came about after Jordan Moody, the Student Representative to the School Board, met with NNPS Youth DevelopmentĀ Supervisor Bridget Adams and Youth DevelopmentĀ Specialist Christina Buckingham about what students could do to build community across the school division at the beginning of the year.

Moody attends Woodside High School and is a founding member of "The Vibe," which is NNPS’s division-wide student talk show, sponsored by Youth Development. The team at "The Vibe" also wanted to encourage students, staff, and families as the school year began, so the plan for an upbeat "virtual block party" began to take shape.

The Vibe team planned the whole event: the time line, the guests, and the performers. They reached out to NNPS personnel and students for video contributions and edited the videos for airing during the live event. They wrote their own scripts, procured giveaways, and designed the set.

"We wanted to have the entire program directed by students," Adams said. "So, we reached out to [Telecom Supervisor] Mr. [Ray] Price and he pulled in his Telecom students to assist with the program."

Telecom students have helped the team from "The Vibe" with their video production efforts since last year. Brandon Hedgepeth, a recent Telecom graduate, served as Director of the Block Party production, coordinating the live stream with the Telecom staff and student crew.

"Brandon was an important catalyst for this event," said Price.

Hedgepeth, who graduated from Woodside High and is now attending Old Dominion University, is a former Vibe member. Fellow 2020 Woodside High graduateĀ Michael McClellan also worked with Vibe members in the past and contributed to the event.

In addition to Hedgepeth, the student production crew included Eric Demarchi, Camera Operator, who is a Woodside High senior, and Julian Banks, a Menchville senior who served as Photographer.

Telecom graduate Collin Smalls was Camera Operator as well.

Price was Production Manager, and his young son Elijah, a student at Deer Park Elementary, was ENG (Electronic News Gathering) Camera Operator.

As always, NNPS-TV Broadcast Engineer Greg Lesko was Production Engineer and his technical expertise was key to the production and internet live stream.

The Telecom team used a new portable recording studio for the production, since it doesn't require a large crew or the TV production truck.

NNPS Youth Development

More about NNPS Youth Development

NNPS Youth Development video (YouTube)

"The Vibe" Student-Led Talk Show

The Vibe (on Facebook)

@NNPSTheVibe (on Twitter)

Join The Vibe!
The Vibe is looking for students in all grade levels to be a part of the Vibe Team as reporters, editors, and writers! If you are interested, email the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Moody was the co-host of the Block Party along with Anya Shah, Youth Development Intern and Warwick High School Senior. Vibe Producers Yenelis Jones of Woodside High and Ivi Edlow of Heritage High joined Moody to co-host the second half of the show. Ivi Edlow of Heritage High prepared guests and managed off-camera activities. 

According to Adams of Youth Development, the best thing about the Block Party was that it was "totally student designed and coordinated."

Even though the event had to be rescheduled once and then moved indoors because of rain, the students showed their resilience and determination to see the project through. Students from all over the district tuned in on YouTube to get inspiration from these student leaders, and the partnership between Youth Development and Telecom resulted in a successful online event.

"The most exciting thing to me is when the talent, crew, and technology all come together for a successful production," said Price.

"Doing a live event is exciting and stressful," he said, "and it's great to see it all come together."

cameraman recording
A Telecom camera operator records the Virtual Block Party for live stream.
Julian Banks/NNPS-TV