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West Patent Students Produce News Show

 students record Kit News

There’s an exciting news show that’s taking West Patent Elementary School by storm. Kit News is the school’s very own news program. Run almost entirely by fourth and fifth-grade students (with a little help and supervision from teacher Alison Muller), episodes run about six minutes long and are released roughly every two weeks.

The show gives staff and students an inside look at what is happening in the school and includes a little bit of fun, too, with segments like riddles and a student’s twist on a GoNoodle dance. Students work with teachers to source stories, go out into the school community to capture video footage, write scripts, edit video and more — and they love it.

“I teach an enrichment class with fourth and fifth graders during core extension time,” Muller said. During enrichment, students learn the basics of using WeVideo, an online video editor. “Once they take that program, they can join our news broadcast club. These students took my enrichment class last year. They are the experts.”

A small group sat in the STEM room eating their lunch while working on different pieces of the latest episode. Fifth grader Gabriel Kleiner ran into the room to be sure Muller got his footage of the Harlem Wizards game before he went out to recess.

“I have a YouTube channel, so I have a camera,” he said. “I just brought it to the game and I tried to get above the people's heads in front of me. I kind of winged it. If I saw something cool happening, I would grab my camera.”

While Gabriel enjoys the whole video production process, he definitely has a favorite part.

“It may sound weird, but editing is my favorite part. There are a lot of possibilities. You can change the video in so many ways.”

Fourth graders Griffin Cino, Tyler Mann and Olivia Oh, who all stayed in the STEM room for lunch while they worked on their pieces, agreed with Gabriel.

“I like that you can add different backgrounds when you’re editing,” Tyler said.

“I like doing the green screen,” Olivia added. “It’s fun to change the background and the words on the screen.”

Each episode follows a loose format and students’ roles change so that they each have turns to experiment with different parts of the show. For the latest episode, Olivia and Griffin worked together to write the script for and record the video’s opening while Tyler created a Valentine’s Day game that needed to be filmed.

After writing and filming, they edit each of their pieces and send them off to Muller, who gives them feedback before the final episode goes out to the school.

The entire process requires a lot of communication, collaboration, problem-solving and creative thinking. The students involved are passionate about their work and truly seem to thrive with the independence they are afforded. You can watch their latest episode here.