By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Elementary school student broadcast wins statewide award
A-BMES Program Awarded pic1
Clarice Griffith positions the teleprompter as Ashlynn Mullis steadies the camera for Blacks Mill Elementary Schools Tuesday morning WBME broadcast. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson County News

"Good morning, Black's Mill Elementary," anchors Shanna Morgan and Emma Walls said in unison during WBME's daily video broadcast Tuesday.

The girls are among more than a dozen fifth graders that skip out on recess each day to prepare for the next day's morning announcements that are filmed live and shown in every classroom.

They research the news and weather, write the scripts, set up the cameras, cue the lighting, run the computers, man the sound and do whatever it takes for the show to go on each morning.

"It's like a job for them," said Suzanne Smith, the school's technology teacher. "They do all of the work."

While there is no physical pay at the end of a long work week, there are plenty of perks for the young broadcasters, including a statewide award they'll be receiving at the Dawson County Board of Education meeting in January.

Black's Mill is one of five Georgia elementary schools to receive the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principal's School Bell Awards, which were presented at the group's fall conference last month in Savannah.

Given to schools with outstanding programs in the areas of curriculum and organizational leadership, the award recognizes the unique opportunity students have to gain true broadcast experience that could help them in making a career choice later in life.

"These are children that are interested in this type of job or a field that's out in the public. The ones that are in this have said they've wanted to do it since kindergarten," Smith said.

Students are selected based on their grades and must also have a recommendation from their teacher.

"We are so proud of them. They're so much fun, so energetic and creative," she said.

Dawson County schools received a total of three awards during last month's conference.

In addition to the Bell Award, the parent/teacher organization at Black's Mill received the Patron Award that is given to outstanding educational supporters.

Riverview Elementary Principal Julia Mashburn was also recognized with one of the five Distinguished Principal Awards.

Established in 1984, the Distinguished Principals program recognizes elementary school principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for students, families and staff in the learning environment.