The Village Video Newsletter
Posted by Phil Young
Earlier this year, myself and a colleague (@wedermireroberts) put together an application for a “SpeakUp” grant through the Ministry of Education. The primary aim of these projects is to, “help students engage both academically and socially by leading projects that they design and implement with the support of their learning community.” Our project idea was to evolve the traditional paper newsletter and create a newscast, written, edited and produced by the students at Countryside Village Public School.
Initially, there was great interest in all aspects of the project, the class brainstormed the various roles that would be required to produce their very own newscast. The list of jobs was extensive and of course both their homeroom teacher and myself would have to take on a role just as each of them would need to. Of course, discussion were had about having the opportunity to play to their strengths where by some who felt they were strong writers would work to write the stories that would be reported on while others who felt the had the necessary editing skills would work as a team to edit each newscast that would be produced. We, their teachers would help guide the production of each newscast to ensure that deadlines were met and students were fulfilling curricular expectation that would be covered by working on this project.
We also needed some equipment and training to help us in the production of our newscast. We are currently working out of holding school (James Grieve Public School) and using resources previously purchased by another school who actually opened the building. As a part of receiving the grant we would be able to purchase some equipment (see Reviews to Come (Studio Equipment) and receive some training
There was excitement in the air, and with that we would have to come up with a name for the newscast. Some of the suggestions were: CSV News, CSV24, The Villager, CSVPS News, Everything News News and a few more… To be honest I think this may have been one of the more challenging task for the class, to choose a name that, represented what was being done and the school it was about.
Beyond some decision making, students were also asked to recall events, stories, learning and more that was occurring in the building during the previous four or so weeks. This would make up the content of our first newscast. The list was extensive, Black History Month, Intramurals, Mr. Raney’s Lambs were just a few of the stories that would be covered. The first edition of our newscast was being produced in a somewhat different manner than what I had envisioned for the project in a sense that the students were reflecting on news events of the past and then reporting on them rather than hearing about an upcoming event/story to cover and then going out and covering it as it happened. I’ve asked myself several times since this project has started why this is, and the answers I have come up with, “there is curriculum to cover, there is a schedule to follow and that working in this way is different than what the kids have grown to know”.
We are still in the production stages of our first newscast and the student have been working diligently with our encouragement to meet the deadlines which have been pushed slightly. We are hoping that the 1st edition of the Countryside News will our school Youtube channel by weeks end.