Reidsville fifth-graders create podcasts

REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- When it comes to serious issues, you assume a young child wouldn't have an opinion. But fifth graders at the UNC Greensboro Moss Street Partnership School are changing minds.

"They have a lot of things that are really deep that matters to them," fifth-grade teacher Shellie Cridge said. "I don't think most people understand how much they really go through in their lives."

The fifth-graders had to create a podcast. So either in groups or individually, the students researched topics they chose and spoke into their iPads. Sometimes you don't get quality sound when you record in a classroom. So six teams and individuals were selected to record their podcast at UNCG's studio.

"Being in the studio, I think will be better sound quality," Cridge said. "You won't have a lot of background noise and they are not going to hear me say 'shh.'"

Allison Ormond is the associate director of curriculum for the Partnership School. She sees the trip to the UNCG podcast studio as an extension of their lesson.

"What we strive for at the Partnership School is creating learning experiences for students, making it relevant to their lives and things they are really interested in," Ormond said.

The fifth-graders talked about serious topics like religion and women's rights. Jeri Brown is the instructional technology consultant for the Partnership School. She saw how hard the students worked on their project.

"They did really well being thoughtful, being reflective and creative and thinking critically about topics that are interesting to them and their classmates," Brown said.

Six podcasts will be shared with the rest of the school. Also, the podcasts will be entered into the National Public Radio Elementary School Podcast contest.

"It's really amazing, they all have a different topic," Cridge added. "I left it open to them because it would be more authentic if they came up with something that meant something to them, more passionate."

Leila Monday used her time to talk about the events surrounding a car accident that happened about five months ago.

"It was very scary because me and my brother are super close and I didn't want him to go because we thought he might pass," Leila said. "But he didn't, the surgery saved him."

Leila's podcast also talked about how the community supported the family and the new friendships that were created.

Cameron Percell's podcast is about bullying.

"I don't know why people bully," Cameron said. "Maybe because they got hurt or now that they are bigger they think they can get popularity."

Cameron hopes his podcast will change behaviors.

"If they hear my story, I think I can stop it now and not have it happen in the future to other kids," he said.

Entries into NPR's Elementary School Podcast Contest are due by March 31. Winners will be announced in April.

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