Stolley Park newscasters report Morning Announcements

Stolley Park students do a daily newscast.
Stolley Park students do a daily newscast.(Nebraska News Channel)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 2:47 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2023 at 6:17 PM CDT
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Grand Island, Neb. (News Channel Nebraska) -The next generation of newscasters is already gaining experience with their Morning Announcements Club.

For about 16 students at Stolley Park Elementary, every school day starts at 7:30 a.m. by getting their school’s announcements ready.

Fifth Grade Teacher Kevin Butters said the idea was born because his daughter is one of the newscasters for middle school, and he thought elementary students should do it too.

“I always thought that was a really cool way for students to get some extracurricular stuff,” Butters said. “Some enrichment, outside of just doing more extra math work or extra reading work.”

Thanks to a grant through the GIPS Foundation, they were able to get an iPad, a stand and a screen protector. At first, they filmed the morning announcements and Butters would send the link to teachers.

The group upgraded this year. They asked the PTA for money for lights, microphones and a green screen and started delivering the announcements live.

Butters said he hopes that kids enjoy their time at school.

“My main goal is that they just have fun, obviously that’s the best part,” Butters said. “I always think about what I would have love to have done in elementary school and this is definitely one of those things, makes coming to school more fun, but I also hope they learn just some simple things like problem solving, also coming up with content, coming up with ideas for interviews, ideas for segments and then just getting that interpersonal communication, not only between each other but through the whole school.”

Producer Adele Covarrubias said that, for her, this has been a learning experience.

“I’m pretty shy around people, but like when I have to yell out the time or ‘quiet on set,’ I kind of have to be louder. So, it’s kind of taught me how to be louder and like it’s OK to be, to use my voice more,” Covarrubias said.

For main newscaster Maisy Simonson, the club is a place where she said she feels like she belongs.

“It makes you feel like part of a like a group or something, so it’s pretty fun just to be around people,” Simonson said.

Butters said giving kids something that interests them helps them.

“Kids are resilient. They are great. They get self-start. They can do amazing things, if you give them the direction,” Butters said.