Dedicated students at Madison School in South Holland produce innovative video newscast
SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (CBS) -- We'd like to introduce you to some highly motivated children in the south suburbs who sacrifice and give up their free time to work on an innovative school project.
As CBS 2's Jim Williams reported Thursday, the project is a video newscast. In undertaking it, the kids are developing their creativity and learning some important classroom lessons.
At Madison School in South Holland, you'll see something sort of like you'd find in Studio B at CBS 2 – a camera all set, an anchor in place, a red light on.
Madison School calls their newscast Action News 7. When they finish, they'll have a polished newscast with slick graphics and all – ready to post on social media and YouTube.
The on-air star is 10-year-old Jaylin Smith.
Williams: "People can see you all over the world."
Jaylin: "Yes, and I feel happy about that."
The elementary school students have done several newscasts on single subject topics - including Black History Month, Hispanic History Month, the 9/11 anniversary.
Egypt Woods is 11.
"It's productive, and I do like being productive," Egypt said.
Teacher Michelle Orth came up with the idea when the students were doing remote learning.
"I wanted to find a creative way to celebrate Black History Month with my students," Orth said.
It turned out to be a creative and effective way for the students to learn.
"For the kids who are part of it, now they're taking ownership," Orth said. "'Now it's not just history in a book — it's my history. I'm telling the story of my history; of our history' - which has been great for them to see it."
Tristany Cole, also 11, is learning to calm the butterflies.
"Before the camera starts, I get to take a couple deep breaths," she said, "and it's just really fun."
Mariah Quinn, 10, works behind the scenes - shooting a lot of the footage.
"It makes me feel good, because I know how much I've improved from the first time I started broadcasting media," Mariah said.
Action News 7 is a confidence-booster. Teacher Kasandra Diggs, who has mastered the graphics and the editing, tells us the students jump at the change to join the productions.
"They get excited. It gives them something to look forward to. Sometimes we meet after school, but at other times, as of late, we've been meeting during the day," Diggs said. "What I can appreciate about them is they're happy to give up their recess and order to come and meet with me."
And in a few years, you might see some of these students - including Isaiah Rollins - on the air with us on CBS 2.
Isaiah: "I hope to be a cameraman and record people, and be on news like you do."
Williams: "Like me? Yes. You want to be on the news too?"
Williams: "I think you can do that."
Remember these kids' names. You might see them on the anchor desk 15 years or so from now.
Next up, the students are going to do more of the writing for the newscast. Imagine having all those skills - and they're not even in high school.
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