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Val Verde High School (Perris, California) Defends 2011 Title of US Video of the Year; Video Enters Panasonic Global Kid Witness News Competition


SECAUCUS, NJ (May 14, 2011) – Panasonic announces that Val Verde High School from Perris, California has defended its position to become the winner in the 22nd annual Panasonic Kid Witness News video competition, competing with more than 50 schools across the United States to take home the 2012 US Best Video of the Year award with their creative video about recycling titled “Fuhgeddaboutit.” This year’s competition was based on the theme “The Environment.”  The Val Verde High School team was also one of the top four winning teams who received a KWN New Vision Award. Val Verde’s video will represent the US in the Panasonic Global Kid Witness News Awards competition against finalists representing 31 countries from around the world.


Daniel Flower, Principal of Val Verde High School stated, “Val Verde High School is excited to claim the US Best Video of the Year award two years in a row, and we can’t say enough about the opportunity Panasonic offers kids through its Kid Witness News program to learn about the latest digital video equipment, to produce meaningful stories through their eyes, and learn from first-hand, real-life experience what professionals in the digital video industry do – this all gives them more self-confidence and a glimpse at a potential career path.”


To receive the award, Val Verde High School’s student team traveled this week to New Jersey to visit the headquarters of Panasonic Corporation of North America and participate in the company’s New Vision Awards ceremony along with fellow finalists Maui High School (Kahului, HI), Vista Academy High School (Denver, CO) and Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (Vista, CA). Each of the schools received a New Vision Award for their creative videos on environmental issues, including topics of recycling, toxic landfills, beach cleaning and the importance of ecosystems.


Finalists in the US national competition receive a Panasonic Kid Witness News New Vision Award trophy, a banner to prominently hang in their school and a “Winners’ Weekend” which includes an all expense paid trip to the New York City Metro area for the awards ceremony program and a day seeing the sights in New York City. The US Best Video of the Year award winner also receives a suite of Panasonic products.


The New Vision Award finalist schools and Panasonic US Best Video of the Year award recipient are selected by an independent panel of professionals comprised of educators, broadcasters, journalists, entertainers and industry leaders, who volunteer their time and expertise. Videos submitted for competition were initially reviewed by students and faculty from the Bronx Community College Film Division (Bronx, NY) with the top videos submitted for a final round of judging by the independent panel.


Panasonic Kid Witness News is a unique, hands-on video education program created to encourage students to develop valuable cognitive, communication and organizational skills.  The program began in 1989 with one school in New Jersey and has since grown to include participants from 76 schools throughout the United States and 718 schools from 31 countries worldwide.  Panasonic provides participating schools with a complete Digital Video Studio and suggested guidelines to augment the school’s curriculum to encourage the children to express how they view the world around them. Under supervision, the students create, produce, direct and edit video shorts throughout the school year, and are asked to create one video based on an annual theme for submission in the yearly Panasonic competition.  The schools were provided with a Panasonic professional HD video camera so their work could be produced in High Definition quality.


“The future is today’s youth, so enabling them to have access to greater opportunities to express themselves and improve their skills is critical for them and all of us,” said Joseph Taylor, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Panasonic Corporation of North America.   “The Panasonic Kid Witness News program was designed to put technology in the hands of students and help teach them the value of teamwork, planning and persistence while they develop their talents as they produce videos that allow us to see the world through their eyes.”  


For more information on the Panasonic Kid Witness News program please visit http://www.panasonic.com/kwn.  Information about the Panasonic Global Kid Witness News Awards program is available by visiting www.panasonic.net/kwn.


About Panasonic Corporation of North America

Currently based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products for consumer, business and industrial use.  The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC), and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations.  Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs.


Information about Panasonic Eco Ideas initiatives is available at http://panasonic.net/eco/ecoideas/. Information about Panasonic and its products is available at www.panasonic.com and its Full HD 3D site at www.panasonic.com/3D.   Additional company information for journalists including this press release and a rendering of the new building is also available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.



2012 US Best Video of the Year Award



Val Verde High School

Perris, California


2012 New Vision Awards



Val Verde High School

Perris, California

“Behind the Beauty”

Maui High School

Kahului, Hawaii

“A Devil’s Bargain”

Vista Academy High School

Denver, Colorado

“Leave Only Footprints”

Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts

Vista, California





Editorial Contacts:

Aaron Fowles (Panasonic)                      619-661-2223     aaron.fowles@us.panasonic.com

Chris De Maria (Panasonic)                    201-348-7182     christopher.demaria@us.panasonic.com 

Lori Chiazzo (Panasonic)                        201-392-4178     lori.chiazzo@us.panasonic.com

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