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Hopi High connects with community through airwaves

PHOENIX — Many schools in Arizona have journalism
courses. Some even give their kids the chance to be heard on the airwaves
in
radio or television. But students at Hopi High School in Keams Canyon probably reach
more people.

“Hopi Community Radio is the largest public Native American radio station
in
the continental U.S. in terms of its reach,” said journalism teacher Stan
Bindell of the 69,000-watt station.

Students get to air stories on KUYI (88.1 FM). They get hands-on
experience with editing equipment, both for radio and video, and they get
to
tell people everywhere about what their world is like.

“A lot of teenagers feel like they don’t have a voice, and their opinion
doesn’t
matter. I tell them the exact opposite. I tell them that their opinion matters
but only if they tell people what it is,” said Bindell.

The program has been around for over 10 years, and the rest of the state is
taking note. Bindell’s 20 students won 13 awards from the Arizona
Interscholastic Association.

Hopi High was the only school north of Sedona to
win.