UFM Community Learning Center
UFM Community Learning Center is a 42 year old creative educational program serving Kansas State University, the Manhattan area and the state of Kansas. Based on the philosophy that everyone can learn and everyone can teach, UFM provides opportunities for lifelong learning and personal development. UFM serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and as a catalyst for new programs and services that enhance the quality of life for all.
KONZ-Flint Hills Community Radio is a new program of UFM Community Learning Center that will bring locally produced, community-oriented programming to the northern Flint Hills area and the Manhattan community. This radio station will provide opportunities for discussion of public issues and the expansion of musical and cultural experiences to several under-served counties in northeast Kansas.
UFM serves as the catalyst for a number of services to the community. UFM serves the entire community with educational classes. Scholarships are available for low income participants. In FY09, 6962 community members took UFM classes. UFM serves as the administrator of the Community Youth Scholarship Fund with grant money from the City of Manhattan, KS. Our organization screens and awards scholarships for youth to participate in any recreational and/or educational program of their choice in the community. 70 scholarships were awarded in 2009. UFM serves as representative payee for mental health clients that need assistance with money management. In 2009, UFM had an average caseload of 32 clients. UFM also coordinates a community garden, providing supplemental food security to low income and elderly in the community. In 2009, 116 families participated in this program.
KONZ Internet Radio Developer
The Corps member will develop and implement an online community radio station for the Manhattan, Kansas area called KONZ Internet Radio. The VISTA will help with fundraising, public awareness and education about the online station and what it can offer, oversee equipment purchases as well as beginning the process of recruiting and training volunteers to staff the station. The Corps member will create the foundation for future sustainability by helping provide the energy and the necessary day-to-day work.
Megan’s job was to help create Konza Internet radio. When she started, the plan was to create an on-air radio station. Shortly after she started, it became apparent that we were not going to be able to raise the funds needed to purchase the equipment for the station. The Board of Directors decided to pursue an internet-based radio service as a way to keep the idea alive. Megan was able to quickly shift gears and use her skills to develop the service we are now using. As the result of Megan’s activities, UFM has a functioning, on-demand radio service that is being utilized by the community, the region and the world. We worked hard to develop a streaming station with a regular program schedule. We found that the streaming service did not work well with the talk format we were using. we also found than more people were downloading the programs rather than listening to them through the stream. Consequently, we have moved to an all on-demand radio service with downloads available in a variety of program areas. There are two areas that remain to be done to ensure sustainability. 1) we need to continue to recruit program hosts who can take the responsibility for adding regular content to the website. We are negotiating with two significant program areas that will expand offerings of interest not only our local residents, but our military families that may be deployed elsewhere in the world. 2) As our program content expands, we need to increase our marketing and community awareness. we also need to expand our website to include a comprehensive community calendar that will draw people to our website.