High Point school strives to make virtual learning fun, starts day off with a newscast

What's Right with Our Schools

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Getting students excited about learning when they are all online is tough. They miss that person to person interaction.

So anything schools can do to keep certain traditions going can help build that teamwork. At Allen Jay  Prep Academy in High Point students are used to starting their day with a leadership rally.

During the rally they typically get the news and weather as well as some fun facts, mostly lead by seventh- and eighth-grade students.

But when the school went virtual this year, the sixth-grade teachers wanted to involve their students while keeping the rally going. So, they came up with the Rise and Shine News Crew.

Karrah Durham is a sixth-grade social studies teacher. She and her three sixth-grade teachers say it is working great.

“When we found out that we would be virtual the first nine weeks of school, I think it was really important for us to make virtual learning as engaging and as fun as Alan Jay Prep usually is,” said Durham. “And we had ideas for our own particular classes, but we wanted to find a way to replicate the morning leadership rally.”

The newscasts involve 10 students whose roles vary from a weather anchor to a news anchor to lifestyle tips and sports. All are responsible for researching and writing their own segments.

Durham said, “I know that for our weather and sports people, they’re all about having the most up- to-date news. And so we told them you’re going to have to get up 30 minutes early to do this because they do want to bring the most, uh, reliable and up to date sources. And all of that says the other scholars who do the fun facts and the life hack, and our anchors are able to plan a few days in advance. The students learn a lot about current events and trending news, but also about researching and even and time management.”

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