Friday, May 25, 2018
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Oregon: 'EMS Live' broadcasters deliver news and laughter


Members of the 'EMS Live' team are, from left, Allison Busdeker, 14, Noah Caris, 13, Ashton Brown, 14, Katelyn Miller, 14, Jessica Thornton, 14.

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Several Eastwood Middle School students say they try to act like news anchor Chrys Peterson of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, or sports anchor Brad Fanning of WUPW-TV, Channel 36, while on camera, but readily admit that it doesn't always work.

The five eighth-grade students who make up the "EMS Live" news team in Pemberville try to deliver their reports like the pros, but sometimes can't help the giggles and telling jokes.

"We try to make it funny or no one will watch it," said Katelyn Miller, 14. "I think it needs to be funny."

"EMS Live" is a news show produced by middle-school students for their peers to inform them every Friday morning of upcoming school and community events, said Cindy Stanfield, a social studies and computer teacher who helps film and edit the show.

"I think the students can relate to it," said Allison Busdeker, 14, the entertainment reporter. "It's stuff they probably are involved in."

The students deliver the news, weather, sports, and entertainment reports from memory or through conducting on-screen interviews amid extra features, like the joke of the week.

"We talk about what kids want to hear about, like dances, sports, and entertainment," Katelyn said.

Ms. Stanfield said the school's rotations team - a group of about a dozen people who have contact with all middle-school grade levels - came up with the idea for the show in the fall, and implemented it after seeking out student nominations from eighth-grade teachers.

Teachers nominated five eighth graders - known as "the team," as one teacher referred to them as - to produce the show based on their writing skills, grades, and personality.

Noah Caris, 13, joins Katelyn as the two news anchors because they said they enjoy interviewing on a variety of topics.

"I get to cover everything," Noah said, adding that his favorite assignment so far has been asking what his peers were planning to do on spring break.

"They're very energetic," Ms. Stanfield said, adding that she's heard positive feedback from teachers and the administration about the show. "They're an easy group to work with. You give them direction, and they put their own creative spin on it."

From wearing oversized pink sunglasses to having her feet in a kiddie pool next to a pile of snow while delivering her weather report, Jessica Thornton, 14, is the comedian of the group, Ms. Stanfield said.

"I'm known as 'the weather girl'●" Jessica said. "But it's not hard doing the weather. I'd rather do that than sit in class."

If they weren't filming the show three times a week, the students would be sitting in their academic assistance class, which is held 29 minutes before their first class begins.

Because she is rushed filming and editing during the week, Ms. Stanfield said she would like to see the show offered as a class. "It's such a short amount of time [to film and edit], Ms. Stanfield said. "Right now, we film where we can with props we can get."

But the team agreed that working on the show was much more fun than sitting in class.

"I like having fun before school," said sportscaster Ashton Brown, 14, a member of the football, wrestling, track, and baseball teams. "This is probably my favorite part of school."

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