KTOO, high school puts students on air

Program started with JDHS, is now just at Thunder Mountain

Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009

A partnership between KTOO and the local high schools gives students a chance to broadcast a prerecorded story on KTOO's morning edition.

Rosemarie Alexander, news director at KTOO and who is involved with the program, said the students cover everything from community events to school district news and to high school events.

English and Social Studies teacher Kristin Garot incorporates the radio broadcasts into standards that require students to write in a variety of styles. She said it "gives them a break from analytical essays and personal stories" and helps them develop a form of writing with real world applications.

"It gives their writing a chance for an audience beyond me," Garot added. "It makes their work public."

"It's good for the community to hear stories from teenagers," she said. "Through the program, the high school kids can see an impact that they have on the community."

Amanda Mosher, a recent Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, participated in the program through her sophomore literature class. Mosher and her partner, Kelsey Lovig, produced a short piece on the snowmobile club and the usage of Eaglecrest that aired just before the public meeting on the topic. Their piece looked at both sides of the argument.

"I enjoyed learning about the process involved in creating a radio news article," Mosher said. "In addition to learning about interviewing strategies and equipment, this project also helped me to discover time management. Kelsey and I did our project in two days while other groups did theirs over a period of a few weeks."

The program started three years ago when then-KTOO manager Cheryl Levitt received a grant from the Radio and Television Directors Foundation.

It originally started with the journalism class at JDHS. Garot, who had previously done audio documentaries with her students and KTOO, joined in. The program switched from JDHS to Thunder Mountain High School when she did.

Only one of Garot's classes was involved with the program this year, but in previous years as many as two or three have worked with the radio station. Seven classes overall have been involved with the program.

Two of the students' broadcasts are available on KTOO's Web site, www.ktoo.org.

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