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Calvert ISD teacher self-funds broadcast journalism class

Students at small school district have chance to grow multitude of professional skills
Posted at 9:26 PM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 22:26:42-05

CALVERT, Texas — Calvert ISD is a small district, last reported by the Texas Tribune to have just under 200 students combined for all grade levels. These students learn together on one shared, historic campus.

Despite the humble size and resources of the district, Calvert ISD boasts a highly involved broadcast journalism program, the passion project of one special teacher.

KRHD got a behind-the-scenes look at the school's Trojan Weekly Broadcast, where six young journalists between grades eight and ten produce an entire show themselves.

These students shoot raw footage, conduct interviews, write scripts, edit footage, prepare weather forecasts, and much more.

It’s all thanks to the school’s audio-visual teacher and tech specialist, Dan Arnold. Every camera, light, computer and cord was purchased out of Arnold’s own pocket.

“It’s something I want to give back to the students, because I know the district doesn’t really have the budget for something like this," Arnold said. "...The kids are putting out a product they can be proud of.”

Ci'Niya Jackson, Calvert 10th grader, never thought in a million years she’d be doing sports journalism, filming games, interviewing students, writing scripts and editing footage. Her introduction was just working the sound board at her local church.

“I’m kind of a behind the scenes person, to myself, Jackson said. "Or - I thought I was!"

Jackson shared that the class has helped her gain confidence in interviewing different people.

Regardless of whether students go on to careers in journalism, becoming better writers, speakers, and computer literate creators – that's what Arnold’s wanted all along.

“Well, I want them to increase a lot of their skills – their interpersonal skills, communication skills, writing skills. This has been a really big help for their STAAR test that they have to take.”

For students like 10th grader Natalia Ibarra, who only had limited access to video making at home, the Trojan Weekly Broadcast is helping her spread her creative wings.

“Coming to AV production was actually an open area for me to express what I do," she said. "... Speaking skills was most important that will help me on the outside [beyond high school], to where I want to go.”

Thanks to the dedication and generosity of one technology-loving teacher, these Trojans are blazing their own trails.

The broadcast can be found on the Calvert ISD YouTube channel: Calvert ISD - YouTube