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Staying current with KAMS-TV

  • Published
  • By Airman Whitney Amstutz
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Delivering up-to-speed news, sports and segment pieces, the crew of Andersen Middle School's KAMS-TV strives to set their fellow students up for success.

During the 2008 - '09 school year, Mrs. Suzette Nelson, an AMS Language Arts and Humanities teacher, began the process of developing a self-sufficient news team that could broadcast live announcements to the student body each morning.

"I had an idea of what I wanted to do as far as creating a news crew made up of students," Mrs. Nelson said. "All I needed were kids to fill the different jobs, so I told the children in my classes what I had in mind and got a good response."

The KAMS-TV crew consists of a multitude of positions including two anchors, a producer, lights and camera crew, audio and microphone technicians, reporters and a historian to name a few. While Mrs. Nelson acts as the executive producer, the successful manning and operation of the show lies on the shoulders of the students.

"When we first began the show no one had any experience," Mrs. Nelson said. "It was a learn-as-you-go environment. Now, the kids have worked in every facet of production and can work in any position with little to no trouble."

After viewing the finished product, many AMS students from various grades began to show interest in the KAMS-TV program.

"Because a number of children wanted to be a part of the team we started a training program," Mrs. Nelson said. "They come in and watch how the show comes together each morning while learning about each job. They are taught everything from how to be natural in front of the camera, to how to transition from Camera One to Camera Two. It's amazing how fast the children pick it up."

At the conclusion of each taping, the news team watches the finished product in order to analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

"We watch the tapes to see what we did wrong and how we improved from the last time," said anchor, Alyssa McGillvery, an 8th grade student at AMS. "Before we can fix what's wrong we have to know what we did."

Mrs. Nelson believes this type of open-forum critique enables the students to adapt and develop problem solving skills which are important in real-life situations.

"It is a learning experience for them," Mrs. Nelson said. "We are trying to teach them a real skill: how to grow when you encounter problems instead of letting them defeat you. Our goal is for AMS students to take these skills and implement them in situations they encounter in the future."