Kid Witness News (KWN) is a global hands-on video education program supported by Panasonic. It was created for students in grades 5 through 8 as a way to develop valuable cognitive, communication, and organizational skills through the use of digital video technology. In doing so, it also fosters teamwork and cooperation. Panasonic developed the program in the United States in 1989 with a global expansion in 2003. More than 100,000 children around the world have participated in the KWN program since its inception.

In 2004, an international category was created for the contest which took the competition global. As of February 2011, there are over 500 schools in 21 countries that participate in the program.

Panasonic provides an array of digital video equipment to several schools across Canada. The program offers students an opportunity to unleash their creativity by using video to tell a story. Under teacher supervision, students research, write, act in, produce, direct, and edit a variety of videos which bring to life subjects they learn in school or their life experiences. Videos can range from a simple newscast to detailed production on current social issues in several categories including news, documentary, drama, and public service announcements (PSA).

Panasonic Canada’s steadfast commitment to the environment and issues affecting our planet has prompted us to use the KWN program as a platform to get students to think about their local environment. For the past several years, the focus of the KWN program has been on the environment, more specifically “My local environment – How can I make it better?” Schools are asked to submit two videos one of which must have an environmental theme. Students have produced videos on everything from recycling and nature conservation to climate change and global warming.

Since 1991, over 10,000 students in Canada have learned that producing videos requires hard work and cooperation among their peers. To recognize their hard work and accomplishments, winning schools are invited to attend the KWN New Vision Awards contest at the end of the school year.