Calhoun students overcoming fears in front of the camera

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CALHOUN, La. Students at central elementary are getting a taste of the news business.

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

"It's not an easy job," says Melanie Luke. "It involves many team members working as a team communicating."

Luke can tell you firsthand, putting a newscast together is hard work.

"It's still a learning experience," says Luke.

But she says the impact it's having on her students, makes it worth the effort.

Each morning this group of fifth graders is responsible for putting a newscast together and each of them has a specific job, such as doing the weather, the sound, or sports.

Students also present a mission statement and a joke of the day to
help their their fellow peers start the day on the right foot.

Students say they enjoy learning how the cameras and other technology works, but some say this experience is helping them do so much more.

"I enjoy doing this because it helps me get over my fears, because i don't really like being in front of people," says Jackson Gilbert.

Nancy Smith says that's the whole idea. Smith is a retired educator who started the school news station more than ten years ago.

"It's just amazing to me," says Smith. "I wasn't sure it would last after I left because it takes a lot of time and it takes money and for these teachers this is just one more thing to add to their list of things to do.

Luke says seeing the smiles on her student's faces and witnessing their growth right before her very eyes makes the extra work worth while.

"Some of them were camera shy," says Luke. "Then today they all wanted to be on camera."

Dtudents say CBN news is preparing them for their broadcasting careers, and though some of them are still undecided about what they want to do, each of them share one thing in common.

"It's helping me prepare for the future," says Gabrielle Wilson.

A future that's looking bright, thanks to miss smith and the teachers who helped her start it all. Students at CBN News say they're also grateful to their peers, who faithfully watch them each morning.