City Springs Middle School students are learning the craft of broadcasting, with a little help from some Baltimore pros.
On October 26, 2023, 11 student broadcasters, each an 8th Grade student at City Springs Elementary / Middle School, began their broadcasting careers under the guidance of several City Springs educators and a few of Baltimore’s best broadcasters from WJZ-TV.
Early in the 2023-24 school year, Anthony Patterson, City Springs Director of Equity, Dr. Rhonda Richetta, City Springs Principal, Devin Stevenson, City Springs Educational Associate, and Wyatt Oroke (Mr. O), City Springs 7th and 8th Grade English Educator, launched a new, hands-on program for the school to provide interested 8th Grade students an opportunity to hone their public-speaking skills, increase their media literacy, and share the events, culture, and very lively school spirit at City Springs, a Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) neighborhood conversion charter school serving one of the City’s most underserved communities.
Called the “Fly High Eagles Broadcast”, the new program is a live stream of the school’s morning announcements, led by 8th grade student anchors. The broadcast covers everything from City Springs after school activities, to schoolwide shoutouts, to the school lunch, and even local sports and news.
We are always looking for ways to provide our scholars with leadership opportunities. This was a way that our scholars could not only increase their own leadership skills, but also positively impact our entire school culture.
The broadcast takes place every morning, Monday through Thursday, for around ten minutes. The scholars are located in the recently created Fly High Eagles Broadcast Studio, where two anchors live stream over Zoom to all of the classrooms in the school. The anchors rotate daily to give a number of scholars leadership experience.
“The local news station WJZ-TV heard about the new broadcast and wanted to have their morning team partner with the Fly High Eagles Broadcast Team,” Mr. O. explains. The first step in the partnership was a visit to City Springs by the WJZ Morning Team, Tim Williams, Meg McNamara, and Sina Gebre-Ab.
They met and talked with the student anchors, answered questions, gave them insider tips, checked out their studio and even watched them broadcast one of their shows.
“The WJZ-TV Morning Team visiting really made everything real for our scholars. They learned that the work they are doing now is not only fun and engaging, it is also a path to a possible career,” said Mr. O.
On November 3, the Fly High Eagles anchors visited the WJZ-TV studio to watch a morning broadcast live with Dr. Richetta. Each of the ten students spent time in the studio during the live morning broadcast and watched the action from the control room.
“It was amazing,” Dr. Richetta adds. “The students were awed by what happens at a TV studio and behind-the-scenes during a broadcast. A few students recorded some TV promos for the station, too.”
There are plans to continue the partnership with more visits from WJZ-TV to mentor the budding broadcasters.
Watch the WJZ-TV segment on the news pros’ visit to City Springs and the student anchors’ trip to the WJZ-TV studios.