BY: CAMRYN HILL
A green screen, a microphone, an iPad, and lights have been set up in the Bowie Elementary Library for Bowie Bobcat News students to record, edit, and write stories for the morning announcements.
Bowie Elementary applied for and received a grant from the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation to fund a TV studio for the campus in 2020. After a year of delays due to the pandemic, the studio will begin airing at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
“The first part is just having tryouts where we select six kids to participate, and then we will get everything set up.” Bowie teacher and TV Studio Sponsor Laura Lemarr said. “Right now, the principal, Jaymie Galan, and I are making an application process for fourth and fifth graders. We will have a tryout process to select the kids to make sure that this opportunity is open for all. In fact, part of the application is students making a video.”
While at first students will be reading stories prewritten by staff, the goal is to have a student-run program that would allow students to learn and practice all the roles and responsibilities needed to run a successful TV studio.
“Bowie is now a blended learning campus, and with the blended learning, we do a lot of things to make learning personal and authentic, and part of that would be student ownership,” Lemarr said. “The whole point of having a new studio in the morning announcement would be to have the kids take ownership of that. They would first just read the stories that we write, and then as time went on, they would take over all of the studio duties. There wouldn’t be one person who always does the talking, or always does the videoing; they would learn all of those different things.”
Running the studio will provide fourth and fifth graders with opportunities to learn responsibility, gain new knowledge, and expand their creativity.
The staff and administration at Bowie Elementary look forward to the first Bowie Bobcat News broadcast.
“It’s good to see teachers that are excited and thinking about it,” Lemarr said. “I think all that’s exciting. My principal, she’s always super supportive, and she’s up for anything. Any crazy idea that I have, like the morning announcements thing, shell be like, ‘Well okay, let’s get going on this.’ It’s really nice to have a principal that’s so eager for our ideas and to get going on all the different things we have.”