A news team is assembling at Central Elementary in the form of Central Action News, a new program STEM teacher Louis Smith hopes will encourage students to be leaders.
Last week, Central Elementary’s Facebook page featured Central Action News’ first news report by Gunner Ward, a student reporter. He covered the ROAR Rally at Central Thursday, Sept. 14, interviewing teachers and fellow students in the edited video that featured an intro and voice-overs.
The news team is the brainchild of Smith, who said he thought of the program last year after heading Central’s PRIDE program for several years. He said he thinks it will be a good opportunity to inspire leadership in students.
“We’ll be sharing weekly updates with students of sports, the weather report for the whole week, any kind of big events that are coming up and interviews with students and staff about different things they’re accomplishing around the building,” Smith said.
Smith is forming his team through an application process that has already attracted more than 100 applicants at Central. He said the application asks students to describe why they would be best for a spot on the news team, and how they best embody the values of Leader In Me, a national school transformation program that has been implemented district-wide.
Leader in Me is a teaching style used at Central that pushes students to seven positive habits: You’re in charge; have a plan; work first, then play; everyone can win; listen before you speak; together is better; and balance feels best.
Smith said there will be several jobs including an anchor and weather, sports and field reporters. Eight students will be picked for the first run of four episodes. Then, eight new students will be picked for another four episodes and the rotation will continue.
“They have to tell us why they would be good at the jobs,” Smith said. “Leadership is for all, not for the few. The idea is to be able to pull as many kids as we can into these programs so they can show their leadership at school.”
He said he hopes to get as many students involved in the program as he possibly can. Getting involved at school, Smith said, is one of the most important parts of early education.
“I’m hoping they get involved. I want them to take some ownership in the school and take their pride to school. It’s important for students to find that voice and find something that allows them to show their leadership,” Smith said. “Providing an avenue for those kids who don’t usually participate — this might be the thing that gets them to.”
Students are currently being picked for the Central Action News team. Smith said the videos and other products of the team will be published on social media and on Central’s Leader In Me Youtube channel.