Photo by Alan M. Dumoff
The seventh and eighth graders of Bishop Schad Regional School, Vineland, have researched, rehearsed and recorded a weekly podcast, WBSR Radio, heard at http://www.shsigs.com/WBSR throughout the year. Pictured are Drew Bencie, Angela Chritaldi, Kelsey Cugini, Steven Steigerwait and Nat Jones.
Bishop Schad Regional School in Vineland could be having future Edward R. Murrows, Wolfman Jacks or Dr. Lauras currently walking their halls.
Since the fall, the school’s seventh and eighth graders have researched, rehearsed and recorded a weekly podcast, WBSR Radio, heard at http://www.shsigs.com/WBSR. The shows feature up-to-date segments on school events, sports, religion, humor, student writing and even teacher interviews.
“It’s a terrific experience,” said Dr. Patrice DeMartino, Bishop Schad principal. “It’s important for them to develop these skills.”
Also, she noted, it’s improving students’ listening skills.
About 10-12 students produce the show, which is recorded on Thursdays and Fridays. The week before, enough time for research and rehearsal, the students get their assignments. On Fridays, the show is uploaded onto the school website.
Among the 19 shows produced last year, highlights included the reading of “Away in a Manger” during the Christmas season; a St. Patrick’s Day show; and a show promoting Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which donates proceeds to cancer research.
Students’ work in the recording studio takes place during recess or after school.
“The program is helping the total individual, giving them opportunities and life skills,” explained Amy Bencie, advancement director for Bishop Schad. She noted that next year, with the increased interest of students, there could be two “news teams,” with one team focusing on research, and another team focused solely on production of the show.
Podcasting is not new to the school; for two or three years, podcasts showing class projects has been seen on the school website. The new radio show, however, is more extensive, focusing on the entire going-ons of the school community.
Dr. DeMartino, noting the interest by both parents and students for the program, mentions that the show’s goal is “to reach out to the community and families on what the students are doing, and the students love doing it.”