Good Morning, KLSD!

 Ten students of various grades, plus Mrs. Moller, the school librarian, and Mrs. Milone, the school social worker, are gathered in the corner of Meadow Pond’s library first thing in the morning. The room is absolutely quiet but the mood is expectant and excited—as if everyone is waiting for a surprise party to begin.

Children dart glances at the computer monitor on the table, then smile at each other. Two older girls sitting at the table make last minute adjustments: One smooths her hair, another straightens her sweater.

A student waves his arm like a flag at the start of a race.

The two girls sit up straight, look into the computer and say, “Goooood morning! This is Megan and Charlotte reporting for Meadow Pond Live.”

This is a backstage peek at Meadow Pond Elementary School’s morning show, broadcast throughout the school onto each classroom’s whiteboard. Mrs. Moller, the show’s producer, finalizes the script. Today’s anchors, Megan and Charlotte, share the weather, birthday announcements, the lunch menu, and school news. The other children are special guests. Mrs. Milone keeps the little ones calm and ready for their segment. It's a much larger group than usual. 

 “Today is National Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work,” announces Charlotte. Ella, a kindergartener, shares her opinion about the buddy bench. Ollie holds her poster. Talia, a fifth grade student ambassador, interviews four first grade students about what responsibility looks like. Rihanna from the Recyling Club gives the next Earth Day trivia question. The program closes, as always, with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Increase Miller, Katonah, and Meadow Pond each have their own morning show, produced daily by the school librarian. Fourth and fifth graders rotate through as the hosts.

  When this tradition began, over twenty years ago, the shows were broadcast throughout the school on closed circuit cable television. Now the live-streams are sent to Lower Hudson Valley Regional Information Center, in Harrison, NY, which broadcasts the video throughout the school on a few minutes’ delay.

“The children love it,” says Mrs. Moller, Meadow Pond’s librarian. “Students learn technical aspects including how to use a microphone and green screen, and practice reading out loud, researching and interviewing skills, and composure under pressure.”

“The public speaking aspect of the program is so important for our students,” said Ms. Duffy, Katonah Elementary’s librarian. “They learn that there's a difference between formal and conversational English.  They are learning about enunciation, volume  and pacing.”

"The morning announcements are a great way for the 5th grade students to establish themselves as role models in the school," said Mrs. Hoffman, librarian at Increase Miller Elementary. "They take their jobs very seriously and are excited to know they'll be appearing live in front of their younger peers. It is a wonderful opportunity for them to practice their public speaking skills."