DRGN - broadcasting class at CHS
Cameron High School is offering a new broadcasting class this year in cooperation with Cameron Regional Radio. Broadcast instructor Derek Williams says this is an opportunity he has wanted to explore for several years, but when he was teaching full time, it simply wasn’t possible.
Fifteen students are taking advantage of the new class offering, however, Williams said over forty were interested. Transportation issues require students to have to be able to take themselves to the radio station in the mornings, so the class is for juniors and seniors only.
Students are working on recording spots, doing daily district updates, learning to write copy, and learning the ins and outs of broadcast news.
Doug Schmitz, Market Manager for Cameron Regional Radio and School Board member says of the program, “I think it’s great it exposes kids to what we do for a living, but even beyond the ability to build their communication skills. Communication skills are so important for students of all types, no matter what they do in life, if they can communicate they will be so much more successful.”
The students arrive at the radio station in the morning and go right into a meeting to talk about assignments and what is planned for the day and the week, then they move to desks to work on projects or go into one of the booths to work on prerecorded spots for the station.
DRGN Station Manager Zoe Jones said, “A lot of the kids involved in this program aren’t involved in a lot of other things, this class is a really good chance for people to get out of their comfort zone and go talk to people. Everyone is getting to try something new because of this.”
Williams says the kids are doing well, but it is slow going.
“There’s a steep learning curve,” Williams said. “There is a lot more involved than the kids realized when they started.”
Currently, DRGN offers daily district updates via their Facebook page, but the students are recording spots that will appear on the radio station throughout the broadcast day. Students in the class also have the opportunity to pitch ideas for things they would like to cover or explore.
Superintendent Matt Robinson said of the program, “I like the fact this is a practical class. It keeps kids engaged in high school and gives them a chance to build real life skills.”