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MISSION VIEJO : Students Hone Skills With Radio Broadcasts

Every Friday two students are summoned to the principal’s office at Bathgate Elementary School. But not because they’re in trouble.

Instead, the students deliver news to a South County radio audience of about 25,000 through a partnership with Saddleback College radio station KSBR-FM.

The 60-second spots produced by the students air during the radio station’s noon news broadcast. They can serve as a nerve-racking way for students to learn the value of research and practice.

“I think I was breathing a little bit hard,” Alex Lopez, an 11-year-old reporter, said recently as she recounted her experience as a radio news reporter.

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So far, student dispatches for the segment, “Kid’s View,” have gone off without a glitch.

The students call in their stories by phone at 11:30 a.m. in Principal Curt Visca’s office after a taking a few trial runs. At noon they listen to their voices on the radio.

Alex, who filed a story on coyotes in Orange County, had misplaced her report and ran to Visca’s office before airing it. After practicing for a few minutes, she was more relaxed.

Visca, who has experience in television, said he always keeps a spare copy of the students’ scripts--just in case. Visca said the partnership with KSBR-FM, now in its third week, has boosted students’ confidence and sparked interest on campus.

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His list of volunteers has grown since the first spot aired this month. “Once they heard that first broadcast, I had children come forward and say ‘Hey, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,’ ” Visca said.


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