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Paden Elementary School Creates "Paden Pelicasts"

Budding journalists and television personalities are working together at Paden to create the student-centered Paden Pelicast show every week.

The idea for the show came from Teacher Librarian Erin Head, inspired partly by former principal Drew Sarratorre's Wednesday student radio announcements and Edison Elementary School's "Otter Morning Show," which Head read about in the district newsletter this fall.

Each weekly show includes calendar announcements and weather reports, with additional content, such as sports reports and staff interviews, that vary based on the student producers' interests, as encouraged by Head. She encourages students to develop content organically "that builds community," said Head, "we need to make sure we are building a positive community."

"The show is a way to inform the school. It is like a newspaper." said fourth grader Noa Hemberg.

This year, fourth and fifth graders have been contributing to the show regularly, with help from third graders, as needed. The show is partly student-driven and relies on students voluntarily contributing, with support from Head. She hopes the Pelicast can move towards being fully student-created because she believes this can be a space for students to explore their interests and passions. "We are establishing a culture and expectations," said Head, "and now kids are looking forward to it."

When asked about ideas for next year's show, Noa, who incorporated information about local birds into the show this year, said she wants to explore why ducks lay eggs in the planters when the oak grove floods.

Head also has visions for next year's production, adding that she was interested in "integrating Pelicasts more into the curriculum to teach media literacy and build confidence in public speaking while meeting speaking and listening standards."

Working on the show has helped Jodie Navarro, a fourth grader, improve her public speaking skills when being filmed. "I used to be nervous about it, but it helps me not to stutter," said Jodie.

Fourth grader Aurelia Chavez summed up the work they are doing perfectly. "The Pelicasts are a kid-safe news space," said Aurelia.


Watch the Pelicasts