Ralph Martin is director, Radio Conservatory of the Arts at Vacaville Christian Schools in Vacaville, Calif.
High School Radio Day began as the brainchild of Pete Bowers, retired director of WBFH, Bloomfield Hills High School, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. It was a chance to get high school radio stations together, and it worked brilliantly. It ultimately sparked more than a day to celebrate. Broadcast teachers across the country began to support each other and stay in contact throughout the year.
This sense of unity lead to a national network that includes a weekly live coast-to-coast show; a teacher support forum; a syndicated programming sharing network and lasting friendships of both students and teachers across the country. Now expanded to eight days and redesignated, High School Radio Week, the event has greater flexibility to allow schools with limited resources, schedule their events any day within the week, making it High School Radio Day, or go all out for the entire High School Radio Week.
Starting Saturday, April 6, many radio stations across the country will celebrate in their local way for eight days.
In Auburn Hills, Mich., WAHS, Avondale High School, will have an open “coffee studio” during the school day to encourage students to stop by, study, listen and learn about the radio station program. They’ll also have a donation drive the entire week, inviting community and alumni to be guests on evening shows with current students.
KEOM, Mesquite Independent School District, Mesquite, Texas, has a field trip planned to KZMJ/Majic 94.5 FM and KBFB/The Beat 97.9 FM (both owned by Urban One) in the morning. That afternoon, they’ll travel to the transmitter site/tower.
To the south, in Galveston, Texas, Ball High School’s KTOR/The Tornado, will celebrate with a marathon broadcast from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. one day. The student hosts will anchor the live eight-hour broadcast featuring in-studio and call-in guests.
KVCB, Vacaville Christian Schools, Vacaville, Calif., plans to get a bit crazy for the occasion. They’re capping the week off with a live 24-hour marathon with a twist — sending a coded message into outer space inviting alien spaceships to land on the school’s football field.
They’ll simulcast their show’s live audio into outer space all night using a series of modulated LED lights on the school roof. They plan to keep the football stadium lights on as a landing guide (as if an advanced civilization capable of interstellar travel needs landing lights). A team of remote student broadcasters, in tents and with binoculars, will check in from time to time to report on any UFOs sited or landing.
Meanwhile, in the studio, local bands will play space-themed songs live, and studio guests will be asked to offer a message to prospective space aliens friends. Listeners will be encouraged to call in to give their message. Other high school radio stations have expressed an interest in joining in so this will, no doubt, become a fun joint venture!
You can expect innovative programming all week long at your local high school station. Look for professional guest broadcasters; community musicians and artists; and public leaders to join the kids in entertaining and informative collaborations. It’s all an exciting glimpse into what these aspiring broadcast kids do all year long. If you’re not within listening range on FM, no worries; most high school stations also stream online!
For more information, visit http://hsradionetwork.com.