Thursday, May 24, 2018
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In-school broadcasts give 7 sixth-graders an air of recognition

The Monroe Road Elementary sixth-graders take great pride in their broadcasts.

They have a captive audience of 670 wide-eyed, perhaps slightly restless, 5 to 12-year-olds every Friday morning at 9 a.m.

The seven student broadcasters have high aspirations.

"If anything happens tragic in America, we would cover that like if the war is declared over," said Jack Keith, 11, the cameraman.

"Or some world-changing discovery," said Megan Grohnke, 11, the birthday announcer.

"Like a cure for cancer," said Benny Wexler, 11, the show's opener, closer, and fact-of-the-week guy.

"Or for that bird flu," said Tara Huth, 11, a news anchor.

"Or, like, if everyone's favorite color turned green" said Alexa Beale, 12, a sportscaster.

Perhaps these students have the right to aim so high.

They will go to the State Capital in Lansing on Nov. 14 to participate in the Student Technology Showcase, sponsored by AT&T and the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning.

School districts throughout the state will demonstrate to members of the state House and Senate how technology can enhance teaching and learning - "and we get a half a day off of school," said Benny.

Cheryl Lykowski, an electives teacher who started the broadcasting program, said six of her children went through the eighth-grade broadcasting program at Bedford Junior High and loved it.

"I was a fifth-grade teacher last year and had a lot of these current sixth graders in my class," she said. "I knew this class was the right class to kick the program off."

This is the first year a Bedford elementary school has had a broadcasting program. Tomorrow is its fourth broadcast.

It will focus on Character Counts Week, which the elementary school is celebrating a few weeks late.

The Mustangs in Broadcasting program is a weekly, student-created television show of school events and announcements that is streamed into every Monroe Road classroom via monitors. Funding comes from the renewal of the intermediate school district's technology enhancement millage.

The program is referred to by its acronym, M.I.B., which the kids in turn pretend refers to the film Men in Black.

The movie's theme song kicks off their broadcasts, and they wear sunglasses in homage to the alien-fighting heroes.

Megan announces the school's birthdays for the week. She wears a big birthday hat, with candles, which resembles something you'd win for throwing a ring over the neck of a bottle at a fair.

The sixth-grade broadcasters are famous among their peers. They said a lot of kids flock around them on the school bus.

"All the little people are like, 'You're on TV,'" said Katie Hill, 11, shrugging off her fame.

They said many students ask them if the show is live. It's not. It's taped the day before.

"One kid turned to me while it was playing and asked me if it was live," said Benny.

"If it was live, my face would get really red," said Hannah McBride, 11, who recently gave a broadcast on the history of National Red Ribbon week, which encourages students to have drug-free lives.

Contact Benjamin Alexander-Bloch


or 419-724-6050.

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