KALW and ACE’s Continuing Education Partnership Teaches Students About Radio Commentary
KALW Public Radio has been an ACE Continuing Education Partner for two years. Although originally focused on students at Philip and Sala Burton High School in San Francisco, where KALW is located, the Continuing Education Program has expanded to serve other high schools and adults in the Bay Area.
Casey Miner is a producer at KALW Public Radio where she helps train young people and adults in advanced radio production. She periodically updates us on her work with students; below is her latest dispatch.
With young people we often work on writing radio commentaries — short, focused editorial pieces about issues that are important to them. We did a great series earlier this year with students at Washington High School — their teacher had asked them to write about their identities for an English class assignment, and brought the pieces to us when they were done. You can listen to a few of those here. Recently I played these and several other commentaries for two classes at Burton High School as part of a workshop on commentary writing. Those students will be writing their own pieces for their final class project, and some of them will have the opportunity to come back into the studio and record them for air.
We’ve also been working with a creative writing class at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco. Five students came to KALW for a workshop on what makes a great commentary, then spent a few weeks working with their instructor to write their pieces. By the time I visited their class to hear their drafts, they’d really polished the work — I was really impressed by the quality of writing and how quickly they grasped the concept of writing for radio. Listen here to excerpts from 16-year-old Frances Saux’s commentary (commentaryclip.frances) and 17-year-old Hosanna Rubio’s commentary (commentaryclip.hosanna.)
After we did reads and I gave them detailed feedback, they did one more round of revisions then came to the studio to record. We’ll be producing their pieces for air on Crosscurrents in the coming weeks.