Teachers often learn how to do more with less, so when students at Prairie View Elementary School in Rhome wanted to launch a morning news program, their teachers agreed even though they had no lights, microphones, or cameras.
The students at the Northwest Independent School District campus wanted to improve morning announcements to something more fun. Fourth grader Elise Contreras’ lead story was about the school's Ultimate Book Challenge.
“It also encourages them to read more,” Contreras explained. “Sometimes they’re like, 'I just want to play on my computer or watch YouTube,' but you can actually have a real fun reading books.”
There’s news, sports, a little humor, but some technical problems.
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“The timing was crazy, it was hard to hear because other people were doing videos,” said Lily Robinson. “We might be able to get there with some hard work and integrity.”
While it’s not a perfect technical studio, the students creativity and writing skills are on point, noted Natalie Spann, a librarian at the school.
"My heart was super happy and I was so proud of them," Spann said. "They had an idea and they ran with it and within two meetings, they already have evidence of how awesome they are."
Photojournalist Mike Richard and I pitched in and gave the kids some pointers to make the best of their equipment, but Northwest ISD’s Education Foundation had other plans. They showed up at the school recently with a surprise check of more than $3,600 for all the equipment to make yelling across the room a thing of the past.
"It’s very hard to process, I cannot begin to say how grateful and excited I am," said Spann. "These students, they deserve this."
The kids all signed the check and started dreaming of their next big video.
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The kids videos are impressive, they’re posted on the Carter in the Classroom facebook page, which you can access here.