Edmonton school puts a new spin on screen time with morning TV broadcast
Coming at you live from a classroom at Kameyosek Elementary, it's KSBN
Every weekday morning at Kameyosek school in Edmonton, young students are bustling behind the scenes of their very own daily TV news show.
They have to report for duty by 8 a.m. and take turns at the various tasks required to get a newscast onto the air.
"Announcing is my favourite job," said grade six student Haniya Altaf. "I don't really have a reason, it's just my favourite."
Altaf is one of more than a dozen grade four, five and six student volunteers committed to getting up a little bit earlier than usual to be part of the show. From the broadcast centre in a converted classroom, they do a quick practice before the Kameyosek news announcements go live on a YouTube feed.
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Topics can range from anything including preference of pizza, the importance of perseverance or even handing the mic to first-grade students to find out about issues most important to them.
The Kameyosek broadcast club was started in 2015 by school principal Hector Pothier.
He noticed the program at other schools and thought it would be a great learning opportunity for his students.
"I thought [broadcasters] went to downtown and somewhere secret with all this cool stuff and backgrounds. - Kirsten Sirtonski, grade five student
"I was surprised how enthusiastic the kids were about it and how quickly they took to it," said Pothier.
The main pieces of equipment in the studio include a TriCaster for video production, a teleprompter, green screen technology and cameras.
Pothier said it's encouraging to see the older students mentoring younger ones in how to produce the show and use the equipment.
Grade five student Kirsten Sirtonski said it's been exciting to learn the ins-and-outs of broadcasting, calling it an eye-opening experience.
"I thought [broadcasters] went to downtown and somewhere secret with all this cool stuff and backgrounds," said Sirtonski, whose favourite job is working with the green screen.
"I've just always wanted to be in the broadcasting club, then when I got the chance I just said yes because it looked really cool. Like, how they do all the green screens and make it look like [other] stuff."
Pothier says it cost about $16,000 to assemble the equipment and set up the classroom for the broadcasts.
He's hopeful that in future, the room will be used more for a wider range of projects.
"It could be more, if you bought better equipment or different kinds of things, but that gave us a pretty good set-up. We're pretty pleased with what we got," he said.
Edmonton Public Schools says they're not entirely sure how many schools in the division have broadcasting clubs. Each school has the ability to allocate funds for similar programs but they don't need approval from the division.