Students are given Nikon Coolpix digital cameras ahead of their field trips to historic St. Augustine and Central America. GABRIEL SANCHEZ/ Keys Weekly

More and more Upper Keys elementary school students are taking an interest in different forms of media and news. To the untrained eye it may seem like a phase, but to educators it’s exciting.

Charles Fulco began coordinating Treasure Village’s after-school enrichment classes as a way to offer more practical lessons on topics like natural science and astronomy to students. He was surprised when kids became intrigued with the idea of sharing knowledge and information. So, he went with it.

Now, about a dozen fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students are working together to launch the school’s very first student-run website featuring original content.

“They’re all very much self-starters,” said Fulco.

The website is still in the brainstorming phase, but some ideas have included hosting a weekly show starring guest interviews with local figures, vlogs (video blogging), and a YouTube channel.

“We’re taking the strengths of each of the kids and putting it to work in media,” said Fulco. “We’re also getting a green screen so they can project images behind their broadcasts and are looking into maybe using a semi-professional quality microphone.”

Students hope to launch their page by the end of April.

Over at Ocean Studies Charter School, students are preparing for upcoming field trips to St. Augustine and Central America by buffing up their photojournalism skills. To help out students, Ms. Sabrah Witkamp invited the Weekly to speak to fourth- and fifth-grade students about telling stories through photos.

With an opportunity to capture historical architecture and artifacts on the trips, the students were eager to learn how to sharpen their journalistic abilities. Students have been outfitted with Nikon Coolpix digital cameras. Though limited in capability, the cameras still have a lot of practical use. 

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