HomeBlocksFront-GridCub Reporters Blast News Across La Cañada Elementary

Cub Reporters Blast News Across La Cañada Elementary

Young journalists in the making are blooming at La Cañada Elementary, as a club of sixth graders shed light on the campus and bring new meaning to school spirit in video broadcasts.
A club consisting of 15 students are collaborating with LCE librarian Billie Melillo to produce NewsBlast, a regular video announcement highlighting people and events on the school campus. The club is in its third year and consists of student producers, editors and reporters.
Melillo told the Outlook Valley Sun that she suggested the activity after noticing that LCE sixth graders were not participating as much at the school.
“I thought [the NewsBlast] would be something very fun to do, and it would bring some a sense of school spirit and community if they’re reporting about different kids and different events,” said Melillo.
With no background in media or broadcast journalism, the sixth graders and the librarian had to figure it out as they went, but it has proven popular.
Last year, Melillo only had five core students consistently participate. This year, 15 students are involved.
Sixth-grader Siyona Kasondra, producer for NewsBlast, joined the club because she thought it would be a cool thing to try out.
Her responsibilities include making a schedule of topics the team will produce and making sure others are doing their part of the job.
“I like that we get to interview lots of different kids and get lots of different videos out,” said Kasondra. “[NewsBlast] is only for sixth graders, which makes it special because this is our last year.”
Student Cameron Forouhar has found a passion for producing sports content and editing.
“I really like editing because you get to see what all the kids have done, and then you just get to put it all together,” said Forouhar.
Forouhar said that he uses iMovie to edit content for NewsBlast.
Juliana Barsom and Logan Niemann, meanwhile, said they joined the club to try something new.
Students are learning how to plan for episodes and what they would like to feature on campus. Then, they assign tasks, who will record and prepare questions. It takes about two to three weeks to produce each episode.
Barsom said she likes that they are able to share ideas with each other and that Melillo tries to help students execute. Segments within each episode encompass campus events such as the spelling bee, discussions with teachers, student preferences and holidays.
Melillo explained that she is seeing students grow based on their different experiences in the club, “And I think new friendships are forming and they’re meeting people and talking to people that maybe they wouldn’t otherwise.”
Melillo teaches students about attention span and what things their audience would like to see.
“What do you want to see?” she asks students. “And as someone behind the camera, what do you want to produce and give out to your audience? What will be interesting?”
The club meets once a week to plan and have a call sheet to show who is doing what.
“These kids have so much talent that I think we underestimate, and so I try to let them be creative with it, especially with phones and technology,” said Melillo. “They’re super tech savvy.”
Once episodes are edited, Melillo provides a link to students, teachers and staff for viewing. Last year, the club produced three episodes, and this year, students are already five episodes in. The club hopes to complete 10 episodes by the end of this school year.
Melillo is excited to bring new ideas, like letting students explore La Cañada Flintridge and maybe spotlight different people and businesses.
“I love anything that can bring the community together,” said Melillo.

First published in the February 15 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]