PALM DESERT, CA — More Coachella Valley students will have the opportunity to explore digital storytelling thanks to a $100,000 grant the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation recently gave DIGICOM Learning. 

Research has shown that digital video storytelling empowers students and enhances their sense of self, engages them in the learning process, and expands their ability to communicate with the world around them. DIGICOM Learning, based in Palm Springs, teaches young people how to create meaningful short videos and trains teachers how to use digital storytelling as a powerful instructional tool. The organization credits the Palm Springs Unified School District for its early and continued support of the unique program, which has enabled it to mature and grow over the past decade.  

The Berger Foundation, based in Palm Desert, Calif., generously supports such established organizations, particularly ones promoting healthcare, social services, and education. 

“Digital storytelling is key to future success and an excellent way to engage students, especially reluctant learners,” said David Vogel, DIGICOM Learning co-founder and CEO. “DIGICOM Learning is improving educational outcomes while providing students with skills they’ll need to succeed in their academic and career pursuits. Thanks to this grant, we’ll now be able to expand our reach and serve more students in the Coachella Valley.”  

According to Vogel, the grant will be used to increase the number of after-school programs in the Desert Sands Unified School District. It will also enable DIGICOM to expand its operation and to add programming further east in the Coachella Valley Unified School District. For example, funds will provide additional support for a DIGICOM after-school Migrant Education Program at the Bobby Duke Middle School, administered through the Riverside County Office of Education. Additionally, the grant will help support a DIGICOM Latino film festival hosted by the first Official Latino Film and Arts Festival in the Coachella Valley, slated for Oct. 11–14. The DIGICOM films will be screened at the Coachella Library from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.  

“DIGICOM Learning’s programming is innovative and engaging, and we’re excited to help the organization expand into east valley schools so that more students and teachers are exposed to this successful teaching method that is keeping up with today’s technology,” said Catharine Reed, program director of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. 

DIGICOM Learning’s tagline — “Bringing our stories to life!” — defines the underlying value of the program, which teaches students how to effectively use their digital devices to express themselves, find their identities, explore the world around them, and better learn concepts in the classroom. The program already has impacted hundreds of teachers and thousands of students at Palm Springs Unified School District and has been closely studied by the University of California, Irvine. 


About the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation:
The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation is a private foundation that generously supports educational and other charitable projects. Since 1988, the Berger Foundation has contributed more than $800 million to charities throughout Southern California and the United States. For more information, please visit hnberger.org. 

About DIGICOM Learning: 
Founded in 2008 by David Vogel, retired president of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group, DIGICOM Learning is a private/public partnership (501(c)3) that inspires children’s passion to learn by teaching them how to make short films about their school work, lives, and the world around them. DIGICOM Learning has been using its unique methodology and curriculum to engage students by working one-on-one with students, presenting in classrooms, and training more than 500 teachers in the Palm Springs Unified School District and 50 teachers in Desert Sands Unified School District. As partners of the University of California, both at Irvine and Riverside, DIGICOM is a certificated and researched program that proves that its teaching has already improved the lives of more than 50,000 students. For more information, please visit digicomlearning.org.