At 9:17 a.m. Thursday the cameras start rolling at Colchester Middle School.
"There is a lot of running around on the days that we actually film the news," student Danielle Whitham said.
That's right, this group of eighth-graders have traded in their old-fashioned morning announcements for a three-minute broadcast that shares school headlines.
"We have news crews, camera crews, script holders, field reporters and weather reporters," student Brett Krzynski said.
Right now the student broadcast is airing just one day a week. Students are working with their computer teacher in his classroom-turned-studio to make it happen.
"Sometimes it is a struggle to find stories and sometimes we don't get the stories that we need on time, so we have to get them quickly," Whitham said.
The newscast was the idea of Vice Principal Dovid Yagoda.
"I realized that best way to have kids listen to announcements is to have kids read the announcements, and I thought well this could be a real learning opportunity, something that would be really fun for kids to do," Yagoda said.
Yagoda says in addition to having fun, his kids are using their time in the computer lab to learn about new technology and editing software.
"I would like them to see a connection between things that they are doing in the real world," Yagoda said. "I want them to be comfortable speaking and reading, kind of thinking on their feet and being creative."
Essential skills for these students as they hustle to meet their deadlines.
"Well making the deadline is hard; all the editing and a lot of takes," Krzynski said.
"It is sort of a little hectic because we have to make sure that we have our deadline done because if we don't get it done today, there is no news tomorrow," Whitham said.
For Yagoda the experience defines what it means to be in middle school.
"Having an opportunity for them to just try something totally new is kind of the classic middle school experience where they can take a chance," he explained.
For these up and coming broadcasters it's a chance to grab the attention of their classmates for a few minutes in the morning.
"I think students will pay attention more if they see us on camera and they'll listen better," Krzynski said.
A lofty goal in any middle school that this crew's tackling one newscast at a time.
Yagoda says his team is currently looking for ways to include more students in the productions and possibly expand the number of shows per week.
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