Like most Digital Media programs around the country, we are constantly looking for ways to maintain enrollment and grow the program.
Being the only high school in a somewhat small school district, we want to develop interest in our Digital Media program early with hopes those students will stay excited and eventually become part of our broadcasting team.
One way to do this, while providing an amazing experience for both high school and elementary students, is by having an Elementary Media Day. We partnered with one of our six elementary schools and welcomed over 30 students who are also enrolled in the Leadership Program at E.L. Ross Elementary School. Lisa Earby, the Principal at E.L. Ross, and myself worked out the logistics to have the students attend for several hours accompanied by a few teachers.
I prepped my high school students a few days in advance so they would have something ready to share with our visitors. Once the students arrived, we gathered them in our room and had a brief “morning meeting” just like we do everyday for our show. I explained the basics of what we do, then had some of our producers explain their jobs and walk the students through the process of live news production. Our crew members learned very quickly that they needed to make their broadcast jargon more elementary friendly in order to communicate well with the students.
After our discussion, we split the group in half and sent them into the control room and studio. They observed several practice run throughs and eventually watched the live show production. I was very impressed with the high level questions asked by the elementary students and the great responses from my students.
Once the show was complete, we all gathered together again for final questions and a brief wrap up of what they observed. The questions kept coming about the process, equipment, viewership, show content, and more. I eventually had to cut the session off so we could take a quick tour of our mobile production trailer and the elementary students could get to the best part of their trip, lunch at Chick-fil-a. Overall, this event was a significant amount of work for both the elementary personnel and high school, but the experience was unforgettable for all the students involved. We are now looking to make this a regular occurrence and invite additional schools to participate.
What follows is a student perspective of that day from one of our show producers, Gracie Martin who is a Junior at Cleveland High.
A few days ago, I got the chance to produce a news show in front of not only my high school but also teach E.L. Ross Elementary School kids about what I do with CHSLive. CHSLive is my broadcasting program I am involved in at CHS. I am a Producer for CHSLive, so I got to teach the kids about what a producer would normally do.
We started by sitting down with some of the elementary students to explain what my job is as a Producer. The kids were so overwhelmed with how much equipment we had, and how real our show is! One little kid even asked me if it was going to be on TV! I got to explain to the kids that we were streaming this news show to the entire student body and that we do this everyday!
I'm not only a Producer but, my job this rotation is one of the main anchors. Many of them wondered what this job included, so Mr. Souders got to show them how it looks like I'm just saying my stories from memory but really I'm reading it off of a mirror (teleprompter)! They thought it was pretty neat. I even got to bring a few kids on to the show live and ask them some questions! Of course they thought it was soooo amazing! I loved working with the E.L. Ross kids and showing them something to look forward to in high school if they want to take Broadcasting. I hope they enjoyed the experience and want to come back again!
Gracie Martin is currently a Junior at Cleveland High School in Cleveland Tennessee. While serving as a CHSLive producer she is also involved as a varsity cheerleader on the cheerleading team. Gracie likes media because it gives her the opportunity to express herself visually. She hopes to one day go into the media field professionally.