Jackson Elementary School students begin each day with their own morning TV news program broadcast “live” to its audience of fellow students and teachers at the school from WJES, its in-house studio. This program makes Jackson a unique elementary school. The broadcasting of the daily news program prepares a select group of responsible fourth graders in production fundamentals that they may not normally experience until middle or high school. Every fourth grade student has the opportunity to be “on the air” as a morning announcer.
The students, who are trained by Linda Eleftheri, our school’s media specialist, prepare the daily individual announcement sheets for the student “reporters” and operate the camera and soundboard equipment behind the scenes. Each day the broadcast begins with the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance followed by moment of silence for quiet personal reflection. News of the day includes important school information, perfect attendance, a daily weather report and lunch menu, Words of Wisdom character education messages and a weekly life skill. I even get involved by reading a portion of a fiction or non-fiction library book each Friday to encourage the students to read the book’s conclusion.
The studio also allows the other students in the school to get involved. Math word problems are read on the air and the classrooms are invited to call the studio “live” with their answer. Some groups such as student council or scouts prepare and present “commercial breaks” during the morning news. These are timely announcements, often in conjunction with school wide activities, such as collecting items for the local food pantry.
The daily news broadcast program is a great program that satisfies academic standards in the areas of speaking and listening. Students at Jackson Elementary look forward to their fourth grade year when they will experience being news announcers at the WJES studio. And, who knows, maybe one of our students may pursue a career in TV/radio production or electronic journalism as a result of their experiences with their in-house studio.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.