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Davis Journal

Kids create their own broadcast Tiger News

Jan 20, 2023 10:58AM ● By Becky Ginos

Adelaide Elementary fifth and sixth graders interview, write, edit and produce the newscast. Photo courtesy of DSD video still

BOUNTIFUL–It’s not unusual to watch a newscast with journalists in front of the camera interviewing and earnestly reporting on the latest news. It’s not so common to see fifth and sixth graders doing it. At Adelaide Elementary kids are interviewing classmates and teachers for the Tiger News, a broadcast written and produced by the students.

“Mr. Westergard came to me and asked if he could do a broadcast,” said Principal 

Patty Arbon. “I thought it was a great way to include kids. It’s so fun.”

They’re good at it, she said. “It gives them confidence. Some kids stay behind the scenes but they really know what they’re doing. It’s nice seeing them work together as a team.”

“I have a friend that works at Woods Cross Elementary and I heard about it there,” said school counselor Christian Westergard. “I graduated in broadcast journalism so I thought ‘can we do it here?’ I went over one day to see what they do.”

From a grant and other donations, Westergard was able to purchase some equipment. “We did a survey to see if there was interest,” he said. “We had 51 students show interest in it. At other schools they had 18 to 20 and they could only have 20 at a time. I wanted to get more kids involved so we have 25 total in it.”

There’s a mix of fifth and sixth graders, said Westergard. “It’s been fantastic. The teachers recommend students who are in good standing and the principal and vice principal choose a few more. We rotate so it’s a revolving door. The kids do it all by choice.”

They work on the broadcast Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during lunch, he said. “We try to squeeze in as much as we can.”

It’s run like a class in college, Westergard said. “I’ve left a lot to them. I help them a little with producing, then I tell them to go out and get to work. They’ve worked really well together.”

Everyone came up with the rules they all had to follow, he said. “I teach each group things like how to frame a shot, be a camera operator and reporter. If they’re the anchor I remind them to smile, relax and about the inflection in their voice because the camera drains it.”

One of the kids is really good at editing, said Westergard. “I want them to teach each other if someone knows how.”

The kids come up with the questions to ask, he said. “They want to know the teachers’ hobbies, etc. and to think outside the box. Things they want to know about teachers and students. We try to keep it uplifting and positive.”

 Westergard said the opportunity to grow is what drew him to it. “I don’t want the kids to just interview people but to get to know each other better. The school didn’t feel unified with empathy toward each other. Now on the playground first and second graders are coming up to the kids and saying ‘I saw you on the news.’ They’re talking to each other and the faculty has been really good.”

The students compile and edit the newscast, he said. “Then I put it together in a special program I have. I cut, edit and piece it together and stream it. I send it to the teachers and when they have a minute to show it, they show it in their classes.”

Westergard said he doesn’t push the kids too much. “I just want them to grow so that they come out of it with some knowledge.”