A partnership between University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism students and the Lussier Community Education Center is giving students on Madison’s west side a chance to learn broadcast skills and express themselves through a low-powered radio station.
Students from Madison Memorial High, Jefferson Middle and Muir Elementary schools are participating in the program, called Youth on Air.
Students recently wrapped up a nine week project at Lussier, where they learned how to develop and launch a low-powered, community radio station at 95.5 FM and online. Journalism students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison volunteered to teach kids at Lussier about broadcast media as part of a service learning course.
“What my five students are doing is helping to train the kids in the radio club. There’s been a core group of three or four students that are very interested in creating a radio program, so that’s what they’ve been working on,” said Sue Robinson, associate professor of journalism.
Lussier is located right next to Memorial and Jefferson, so Richard Jones, the station's manager, decided it would be great to incorporate educational aspects of the radio station for kids. Jones reached out to Robinson to get her students involved and staff members at Lussier to set the program up.
“One of our main goals is to capture the things going on in the community. I was focused on finding something more structured for our youth that is hands on, organized and planned out,” Jones said. “We wanted to really be a support to them.”
Throughout the year, students learned how to interview subjects and follow Federal Communications Commission rules They also worked on building confidence and public speaking skills.
Malcolm Gibson, a sophomore at Memorial, said he enjoyed meeting new people and learning how to record shows. He hopes to return in the fall when the project starts again.
UW-Madison student Brianna Johnson, a broadcast journalism major, volunteered at Lussier for her class.
“It was great seeing them come alive in the studio,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep their attention when we’re in the center's other rooms, but they are eager once they are in the studio.”
The project is still in its early stages but Jones hopes to get the students broadcasting on-air in the next few months, once the station installs the needed equipment.
“This radio project is really for everybody and I encourage people to use it and utilize it if they’re interested,” Jones said.
In April, the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools donated $25,000 to the Youth on Air project.
Source : madison.com