C-Span Bus visits Bellwood-Antis


Mya Decker

C-Span visited Bellwood-Antis last week, bringing its promotional tour bus to heighten awareness of the non-partisan news network.

Ben Nofsker, Staff writer

Last Week, Bellwood-Antis was visited by an unusual guest.

The C-Span bus rolled up to Bellwood’s front door Thursday afternoon. A cable television news service, the goal of C-Span is providing unedited, unfiltered gavel-to-gavel proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and to other forums where public policy is discussed, debated and decided.

C-Span allowed students to enter and tour  its $1.2 million promotional bus, fully equipped with technology to take quizzes and learn about the government.

Joel Bacon, who leads the tours, said the bus is a way of meeting young people’s hunger for information.

“Students of today are typically very savvy when it comes to how they view television or social media and they like to see a lot of different opinions and views, so C-Span offering all that uncut, unfiltered access is a really cool place for them,” Bacon said. “Especially for students, when it clicks, if they’re interested in public policy or government or anything like that, then it’s really kinda cool.”

Bellwood-Antis High School Principal Mr. Richard Schreier said it was a great way to learn in a fun way. Several different teachers took groups of students to the bus, including history teachers Mr. Matthew Elder and Mr. Robert McMinn and English teachers Mrs. Alyssa Cunningham and Mr. Kerry Naylor.

I think any time you give students an opportunity to get outside of the classroom and learn and learn from others, s(they) get excited about that,” Mr. Schreier said.

The bus stop was a part of C-Span’s 50 Capitals Tour, which is designed to coincide with the network’s twenty-fifth anniversary. The C-Span bus had already visited Harrisburg in September of 2017.

 “They had already been through Harrisburg, but Atlantic Broadband, the cable company that pays for C-Span to be run, wanted them to be in this area in order to check out the Altoona Career and Technology Center, because they have a media center,” said Mr. Schreier. “While they were checking out the tech center, they also decided to check out other schools in the area, and Bellwood was one of those schools.”

Students appeared to enjoy their time in the bus, and they were able to learn more about C-Span itself.

“I didn’t even know C-Span was a thing,” said Cross Carper. “It’s cool to know there is a group that lets people know what’s really happening.”

Mr. Schreier would have loved for more students to attend, but felt the short stop was worthwhile.

“Overall I would say it was a success,” he said.  “We couldn’t get as many students as I would have liked because of time restrictions, but overall it went pretty well.”

In addition to giving us a chance to experience and learn information that we may not have known, we were given a personal pocket constitution and a ruler with all the presidents including current President Trump.