By Jane Bornhorst
On Tuesday and Friday mornings, students at Saint Peter’s School in Olney put on a live broadcast news show for the entire school community. A different group of students participates each week.
"They quickly learn that speaking clearly and slowly, which is hard to do in front of a camera, as well as delivering with energy and smiles and timing their joke delivery is not as easy as they thought," says Mr. Stephen Szot, technology teacher and staff facilitator for the show. "They learn that preparation helps by practicing the show script the night prior to airing."
Students learn to be part of a team, work with others, and develop communication skills. They also gain a sense of pride from appearing on the show. Some grades have specific roles on the program. Eighth grade anchors and third grade weather reporters learn to read from and control a teleprompter. Fifth graders learn to operate a complicated sound board, and a digital video camera.
“Framing the optimum shot during a show with backdrop TVs and projectors with any number of students is critical to producing a professional morning show,” Szot says. Students also learn how to make “hand-offs” from anchor to guest speakers, weather presenters, and others.
Eighth grader Alexandra Kissal has had the opportunity to work as an anchor for the show. One of her favorite aspects is leading the school in the Morning Prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance. “Working on the Morning Show has provided me important lessons including hard work and accountability,” said Alexandra. “There is a lot that goes into the Morning Show production, and it is truly a team effort.”
The show would not be possible without the help of faculty and staff, including Mr. Peter Nguyen, music teacher. Also, school faculty and staff provide weekly content including special events and class projects to showcase.
"Our show brings the school together twice a week and keeps everyone informed of important events like tag days, school plays, bake sales, mass, and other student-centric events," says Mr. Szot.
The morning show is also streamed on YouTube, allowing parents, grandparents, and friends to watch the show live or on demand.
"Everyone comes together to make the show a success demonstrating the pride in our wonderful school and sharing our Catholic faith with family and friends," Mr. Szot says.
The Saint Peter’s school morning show can be enjoyed by visiting bit.ly/SPOmorningshow