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Now hear and see'this'

Middle school students take morning announcements to the next level

While their parents are turning on the tube to take in the important news of the day, students at Bethlehem Central Middle School are doing much the same just after 8 a.m. every day.

At the middle school, the longstanding tradition of morning announcements has transitioned to the next level with the addition of video, which shows students two anchors and slides to keep them informed.

As it has for years, the morning announcements serve as the average student's window into the goings on at the schoolsports events, extracurricular schedules and lunch menus plus, of course, the Pledge of Allegiance.

The live broadcast is piped to classrooms across the school and shown through projectors mounted on the ceiling. Before the announcements come on, the station broadcasts CNN student news to present some big picture items.

Technology teacher and program advisor Tim Connelley said the program started four years ago, and it's been well received by the student body. Homeroom teachers often tell him that students are more likely to be in their seats by the time the bell rings to see the video announcements.

Letting the kids see it on TV, rather than just hearing it, grabs their attention," Connelley said.

It also generates a lot of interest from students who want to end up reading the news themselves. The popularity of the program means that on-air appearances are generally limited to eighth graders.

Appearing before a large audience also helps cultivate public speaking skills for later on in high school, said eighth-grader Fred Sturges.

"It's kind of not as hard as it would be because right now you're in front of the whole school," he said.

"It makes you more confident," agreed Kayla Docous, his co-anchor for the day.

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