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On the Air at Birch Lane

Before the start of each school day, a group of fifth graders gather in a second-floor classroom to tell the news at Birch Lane Elementary School.

 The Birch Lane Broadcast Club produces a short program each morning that is later played in all classrooms. There about 30 students in the club, who work with their advisers, technology learning coach Vickie Ahearn and music teacher Tom Tucker. Each morning, a group of five or six students assigned to that day’s broadcast arrive early and write the script. Each program includes weather, sports, birthdays, special announcements and a quote of the day.

 Students gain experience in different positions in front of the camera and behind the scenes. They also learn how to use green screen technology in selecting the background and graphics for each broadcast. Each edition of WBLE Morning News is uploaded to the school’s YouTube channel so it can be viewed in classes and by parents.

 Ms. Ahearn said that while there is a template for the script, students determine the content and give their own voice to each show. Some students have even used Google Slides to create background images.

 

“This is their broadcast,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to be seen as leaders in the school. Hopefully the younger children will want to do the same thing when they become fifth graders.”