School Newscasts

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By the end of their school year, 125 students at the Riverview Middle School in Barron will put the finishing touches on a series of newscasts they've built from the ground up.

The effort has humble beginnings as a science lesson. An eighth grade teacher wanted to teach weather by having her students put together their own forecast and presenting it on camera. Soon lessons in current events, scripting, and interviewing turned the forecast idea into a newscast idea.

WEAU-TV News Director John Hoffland got them started with the fundamentals. Soon, every part of the show was scripted, just like it is in any professional setting.

"The kids really took that upon themselves, which was great," said Lynn Grevens, the kids' science teacher. "All the kids were writing at some point."

Teleprompeters were made from school computers, and with the help of a shop teacher, the kids built their own customized set.

This is the first time kids at Riverview have taken on this kind of project. Teachers say nearly every subject they would normally teach is incorporated within it.