Phoenix Air: An MCCL Collaboration with the Citadel High School broadcast club team
High School students have a lot to say. And, with the right technical and storytelling supports, can find an audience.
It’s lunchtime on a Wednesday and we fade in on a dozen students in Grades 11 and 12 at Citadel High and their Broadcast Club teacher/mentor Tara Watson-Arseneau.
This is Phoenix Air. The students here, a mix of O2, general, and advanced (IB) class students, are working in small, groups to produce a monthly video news magazine. They are also collaborating on various submissions to be made to the U.S.-based Journalism Education Association’s Award and Convention in Orlando in November 2015.
Numerous video broadcasts have been produced and shown on Citadel High’s in-school broadcast system, including interviews with “Book of Negroes” author Lawrence Hill and Canadian military hero and Senator General Romeo Dallaire. The reviews have been nothing but positive, and the kids’ engagement and excitement for the ‘work’ is extremely impressive – especially given that this is work on top of their required school (credit worthy) assignments.
“Every day is a film day,” says Tara Watson-Arseneau of the work her students do. “Today we filmed the dance, tomorrow is a hockey interview, Wednesday is an interview with a student that did a commercial for McDonald’s, Thursday and Friday are editing days.”
With the help of mentors from MCCL, students develop their writing skills by producing scripts for their stories. They are trained to use video and audio equipment as well as video editing techniques in order to produce their stories. They also develop entrepreneurial skills that will be transferable to their future careers and work opportunities such as communication skills, time and stress management skills as well as problem solving skills.
“By offering the Journalism Club to students as an option for alternative learning it engages students that might normally reject the classroom model,” says Watson-Arseneau, who explains that ‘JClub’ works “because the club is more relaxed and runs in a team atmosphere.”
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MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning
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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia