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Banning High School students gain real-world broadcast journalism experience through student project

Students at Banning High School are working on their broadcasting skills.

News Channel 3 got the chance to see the students in action on Monday while they shot a video showcasing their new performing arts center and construction academy.

Ruth Hickman is a film teacher at Banning High School.

“I really encourage my students to take advantage of the art of visual storytelling and it's such a privilege and honor to be a teacher, to be an educator and to be passionate about my field and have the opportunity to spread that to our youth," Hickman told News Channel 3.

Her students are working on a big project. They are putting together a 10-minute newscast which will be highlighted at the Banning Unified School District “state of education” dinner on May 4th.

The newscast will feature four stories. One of them, showcasing the construction of a $26 million construction project of their new performing arts center and construction academy at Banning High School.

Each student in her multi-media class has a set position.

“As a director, I mainly had to contact everyone, make sure everyone is doing their own job and that takes a lot of leadership, Destiny Yang, student director at Banning High School said.

They use professional equipment to give them hands-on, real-world experience.

"The students are absolutely lucky to have access to tripods and HD cameras and we didn't have this in high school," Hickman said.

This project has been a fantastic opportunity for these students but it's also been a lot of work.

"We've been working on this project behind the scenes for more than three months," Hickman said. "We've been really grinding out the script and Steve Moore who is our communications consultant for the district, he's been awesome creating a shot list and script for my students and helping guide us through the way," she added.

Even the superintendent of Banning Unified School District, Robert Guillen and principal of Banning High School, Matt Valdivia got in on the action.

“It’s a privilege for me to be their principal and work with them each and every day,” Valdivia said.

Later this week, on Friday, the students will tour our own KESQ news station and hopefully build more relationships in the broadcast media industry.

“It was fun," Karla Rubio Robledo, student reporter at Banning High School said in regards to the student project. "I got to do something I never really done before in the sense of doing an interview with many people. I've never done that before and I just think the whole collab of people in my classroom is just really a great environment where I really enjoyed it and I hope to do more," she added.

The future is definitely bright for these students at Banning High School.

If you want to see the student’s final product of their newscast you can watch it on May 4th at Sun Lakes Country Club in Banning. It’s open to the public. Tickets are $23 per person. They will go on sale in April through the district.

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Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.


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