Lanier HS NewsHour Reporting Lab shoots a spot with tennis legend Andy Roddick

On Tuesday, September 12, members of the Lanier High School PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab, led by newly named Texas Teacher of the Year Tara Bourdeaux, met Andy Roddick to film his take on mentoring and his involvement with Austin youth through the Andy Roddick Foundation. The result of the interview will become a 90 second spot to promote the October 14 American Graduate Day broadcast and to support mentoring as a vital community activity. Andy now gets to call himself an American Graduate Champion alongside his many other victories!

 

Cedar park student headed to PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab Academy

Twenty talented youth storytellers from 13 states will convene in the nation’s capital this summer with the common objective to advance the future of journalism and public media. KLRU’s PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab participant Isaac Hernandez of Cedar Ridge High School was named one of the fellows for the Student Reporting Labs Academy.

The middle and high school fellows are participants in the third annual Student Reporting Labs Academy. They will work alongside public media mentors to produce original digital content and sharpen their journalism and production skills. The fellows will also help program leaders develop strategies to engage young people with the news and current affairs, and ensure that diverse youth voices are active in the conversations about critical issues facing the nation.

During the 2016-17 school year, these young journalists contributed to the NewsHour’s broadcast and digital platforms with Letters to the Next President, stories of New Americans, 13 Reasons Why and two upcoming series on overcoming disabilities and America’s National Parks.

To learn more about the other students, please visit the official 2017 SRL Academy Tumblr.

Student Reporting Labs is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate: Let’s make it happen initiative, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

On social media, visit PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs on Facebook or follow @reportinglabs on Twitter.

Outside the Box: Teens challenge gender stereotypes

Outside the Box, a collection of stories that profile teens challenging gender stereotypes, is available to watch online now! The stories were made by the NewsHour Student Reporting Lab. This series introduces viewers to Shantell, the 16-year-old commanding officer of her high school’s JROTC program. We discover Zack’s passion for designing clothes, which ultimately lands the teen a spot on “Project Runway Junior.” And we get to know youth like Semra and D.J., who by exploring their identities challenge those around them to think #outsidethebox. Watch all the Outside the Box videos now.

Two videos were produced by area schools as part of KLRU’s work with the NewsHour Student Reporting Lab.

Fix all of it from Student Reporting Labs on Vimeo.

Produced by Luisa Garcia and Karen Lopez, students at Manor High School in Manor, Texas.

What’s it like to be a female mechanic? Sofia Rodriguez is an 18-year-old Texas native who currently works at both Jiffy Lube and Dynamic Motor Repair. Working in a male-dominated field can be challenging, however, Sofia says, “bring it on.”

Gamemaker from Student Reporting Labs on Vimeo.

Produced by Patrick Cadet, Isaiah Cavanaugh, Andrew Duncan, Alyssa San Miguel, Ashley Tamez, students at Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, Texas.

Despite what many people assume because of her gender, Jazsmin Burton enjoys coding and wants to study game design in college so she can develop games herself.

Minors playing in E minor: Juvenile Justice Center Residents Learn the Art of Classical Guitar

This story was written by KLRU and PBS NewsHour intern Kennedy Huff. Kennedy is an alumna of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program. Kennedy’s story aired during PBS NewsHour on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. You can see it in the video below.

Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center serves as a probation facility for the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. While in detention, the residents continue working toward their high school diploma, get exposure to trades, and learn a variety of arts.

Five years ago, Gardner-Betts partnered with Austin Classical Guitar Society to teach classical guitar to residents, allowing them to earn a fine art credit necessary for graduation.

“It started with the recommendation from one of our members,” Director of Education and Outreach for Austin Classical Guitar, Travis Marcum, said. “He set up a meeting between us and Gardner-Betts. [He was] just thinking that these kids might have a specific need, that they’re not getting really any arts education while they’re incarcerated, so this might be a good fit for us.”

Guitar Instructor, Jeremy Osborne performs a concert piece with his students. Austin Classical Guitar works with Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center to teach classical guitar to residents. Photo by Kennedy Huff

Guitar Instructor, Jeremy Osborne performs a concert piece with his students. Austin Classical Guitar works with Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center to teach classical guitar to residents. Photo by Kennedy Huff

Last winter, Jeremy Osborne began teaching the guitar class at Gardner-Betts. Osborne held many fears about handling the program, but one stood above the rest.

“When I took over I knew what to expect but [I had] a lot of trepidation actually,” Osborne said. “You know there’s a lock on every door, you have to memorize a handful of codes to get through all the different security blocks and everything and it’s really disorienting. Starting with this project brought out a lot of personal anxieties and fear. It wasn’t about getting attacked by a student, or whatever, it was literally like ‘I’m not gonna do a good job for these kids.’”

However, Osborne’s assumptions proved to be wrong. The students in the program think highly of him and are grateful for the class. Demetrius, Israel, and Peter have all been at Gardner-Betts for over a year.

“I’m 18, never thought I’d see the light, never thought I’d see the day that I’d be graduating,” Demetrius said.  “I really like the feeling, because everybody in my family graduated high school, went to college at least one year, maybe two, and dropped out, got locked up, or died. It showed me a different path. Instead of going down the wrong road I can go down the right one.”

“I used to actually have a real bad anger problem,” Israel said. “So when I would get real angry, or I could be like sad, I guess you could say, or withdrawn I get on my guitar. It’s just really given me something to do when I’m bored or thinking about something, I guess, that’s not in my best interest.”

Gardner-Betts resident, Peter, receives assistance from guitar instructor, Jeremy Osborne. Peter will continue playing guitar when he begins college in the fall.

Gardner-Betts resident, Peter, receives assistance from guitar instructor, Jeremy Osborne. Peter will continue playing guitar when he begins college in the fall. Photo by Kennedy Huff

Prior to joining the program, Peter was a high school dropout. With the help of Osborne, he is set to attend San Jacinto College this fall, in the pursuit of a music production degree.

“My mom is excited,” Peter said. “Usually if she heard something about me it was always bad and it feels good to have something good like graduating high school, learning how to play the guitar, going to school. Now every time she sees me she just smiles. I’m sure her cheeks hurt by now.”

A recent study from the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University found that 75% of juveniles released from a juvenile probation facility in Texas are rearrested up to 5 years after their release. Jeremy Osborne hopes the skills students have learned in his class will keep them from reentering the criminal justice system.

“If you talk to a lot of the staff here they’ll say it’s pretty common that statistically a lot of these kids will re-offend and wind up back here,” Osborne said. “I would like to think that at least a handful of them can kinda keep [on a good] path when they get out of here. They always have a guitar there to come to when they’re stressed out. My ultimate hope for them is that they come out of here and don’t come back.”

Austin students included in PBS NewsHour Inaugural Student Reporting Lab Academy

Screen shot 2015-04-21 at 10.11.00 AMTwo Austin students have been chosen to participate in the inaugural PBS Newshour Student Academy. Ben Root and Alex Trevino from Stephen F. Austin High School are among the 18 fellows selected by PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (@reportinglabs) to participate in the first SRL Academy in Washington, D.C., this June and July. Middle and high school fellows will work alongside public media mentors to produce original news content. They also will help program leaders develop strategies to engage young people in news and current affairs and ensure that youth voices are active in the conversations about critical issues facing the nation.

Fellows were chosen by a selection committee composed of the Student Reporting Labs staff and teachers.

“The students are coming from all over the country to celebrate their amazing journalistic accomplishments and help us build an even better program,” said Leah Clapman, Managing Editor, Education. “Our shared mission is to create learning experiences that inspire young people to be active citizens and solution-seekers.”

The 2015 SRL Academy Class (in alphabetical order):

Georgie Abbey, Royal Oak High School
Annie Collick, Royal Oak High School
Isabel Evans, Philip’s Academy Charter School
John Fabella, Maui Waena Intermediate School
Chloe Golan, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High
Evan Gulock, Royal Oak High School
Alexander Lischak, Trumbull Career & Technical
Alex Maxwell, Judge Memorial Catholic High School
Sydney Payne, Carlsbad High School
Keenan Penn II, Fraser High School
Alizah Rizvi, Philip’s Academy Charter School
Ben Root, Stephen F. Austin High School
Jakira Smith, Free Spirit Media
Giel Marie Tolentino, Maui High School
Alex Trevino, Stephen F. Austin High School
Nicholas Weiss, Cedar Crest High School
Zoe Whitney, Maui High School
Erykah Williams, Vista PEAK Preparatory

To learn more about the students, please visit the official SRL Academy Tumblr.

 

Pflugerville student received national recognition from PBS NewsHour

Congratulations to Pflugerville High School junior Kennedy Huff! Kennedy was chosen for the inaugural class of KLRU and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs All-Stars and was honored by the staff of Congressman Michael T. McCaul (TX-10) for her accomplishment on May 1st.

Pflugerville ISD Board of Trustees member Vernagene Mott (R) congratulates PHS student Kennedy Huff (L) on being named a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs All-Star.

Pflugerville ISD Board of Trustees member Vernagene Mott (R) congratulates PHS student Kennedy Huff (L) on being named a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs All-Star.

Kennedy, along with 10 other students chosen from participating Reporting Labs schools across the country, will travel to Washington, D.C. this summer to help teachers from around the country develop curricula and instruction strategies to engage young people in news and current affairs and ensure that the youth voice is a part of the conversation around critical issues facing the nation.

PBS NewsHour Executive Producer Linda Winslow says it’s important for public media to help build the next generation of reporters. “I want them to deliver the kind of quality that we encourage today journalism that makes people better informed citizens of the world,” she said.

Students participating in the Reporting Labs program work with public media mentors from their local stations to produce original news reports. Their work is featured on the national Student Reporting Labs website, the NewsHour’s Rundown and broadcast as well as americangraduate.org. The Reporting Labs after-school club at Pflugerville High School has worked with KLRU.

“PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs is just one of the many innovative ways that KLRU leverages content to provide students with real-life learning experiences and help them connect their education to future aspirations for long-term success,” said Bill Stotesbery, CEO, KLRU. “We are delighted and proud that a student from our Reporting Lab is an All-Star.”

Student mentor and KLRU producer Lynn Boswell said, “It’s been exciting to see the number of schools and students participating in the program grow so quickly. These students are gaining strong skills that will be very valuable if they choose to pursue careers in journalism. But they’re also gaining tools to help them become informed citizens and thoughtful voters, no matter what careers they eventually choose.”

Mentor Lynn Boswell (L) and Teacher David Robb (R) congratulate Pflugerville High School student Kennedy Huff who was a chosen as a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs All-Star.

Mentor Lynn Boswell (L) and Teacher David Robb (R) congratulate Pflugerville High School student Kennedy Huff who was a chosen as a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs All-Star.

In addition to participating in the Reporting Labs club at Pflugerville High School, Kennedy is an editor for the school newspaper and a member of the student broadcast staff. She models herself after Lisa Ling and Oprah Winfrey and aspires to one day host her own network show.

“Kennedy Huff is a shining example of what the Student Reporting Labs program represents: curiosity, civic engagement and hard work,” said Reporting Labs Producer/Program Coordinator Thaisi Da Silva.

Student Reporting Labs is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as part of the public media initiative, “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen,” which is helping communities improve education opportunities for all students and build the next generation of skilled graduates. Student Reporting Labs is also funded by National Science Foundation.

The Reporting Labs club at PHS is co-sponsored by Tamika Fagan, David Robb and James Ruiz.