Shaler Area students take to airwaves with stories
Shaler Area High School students are taking their classroom lessons on-air.
Students in Ben Shannon's creative writing class will make their radio debut this Saturday, Nov. 3, on the “Saturday Light Brigade” radio show at 10 a.m. on WRCT, 88.3 FM.
“This is the first time I'll be reading my work besides (in) a classroom,” said Ethan Griffin, a sophomore. “I thought we would just be writing stuff in class. I never pictured going on a radio station. I think that's pretty good.”
“Saturday Light Brigade” is a regional family-oriented radio show that broadcasts from the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and features acoustic music and live performances by youth and adults, as well as on-air puzzles, phone calls and interviews with community-based nonprofit organizations benefiting youth and families.
Shannon learned of the program while listening to it with his three children and wanted to give his students the opportunity to reach a wider audience by performing on the radio show.
“I think writing and stories are meant to be heard, as well as read,” Shannon said. “The earlier they get exposed to reading and to a public audience, a real audience, I think the better it builds confidence.
“I really think once they do this there's no going back; they've taken a step forward.”
Students will read selections from pieces they have been writing this semester and editing over the past weeks in preparation for Saturday's radio show — everything from poetry to fiction passages.
Megan Pennington, a senior in Shannon's creative writing class, said she even is considering writing an entirely new piece of work especially for the “Saturday Light Brigade” program.
Pennington said while she has been writing for several years, this is the first opportunity to reach an audience that doesn't consist of her classmates or teachers.
“To have the opportunity to have more than just my teachers read my work would be very rewarding. I hope to get my name out there somehow,” Pennington said.
“If nothing else, I hope to have one person out there like what I have to write.”
Shannon said in addition to the regular listeners, he hopes community members tune into “Saturday Light Brigade” to support the students and hear what they have to offer.
“I hope they get some recognition as the writers they are,” Shannon said.
“There's really only so much you can teach, and the rest you have to do.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.