Brunswick students get hands-on news experience on 'The Beat'

BRUNSWICK, Ohio - Dozens of Brunswick school students are learning real-life lessons in journalism. Roughly 40 students in grades 6 through 12 make up The Brunswick Educational Access Television Program or "The Beat." 

Riley Haas is one of those students. Some of her stories have already made news in the local papers. Now, for the first time, Haas has started capturing community events with a camera.

Just recently, she spent part of her weekend covering the Brunswick Hills Township Fire Truck Housing Ceremony. The Township got two new trucks and it was Haas' idea to cover the story. "Coming up with ideas is kind of hard, especially because a lot of people have the same idea," said Haas. 

The program started 15 years ago and now it is run entirely by the students. "I'm in charge of teaching first-year students about journalism," said sophomore Alexis Gemelas. 

The students are required to produce six print and video stories a year. Some of those stories end up in local papers. The program and students have won national awards for their work. 

Perhaps surprisingly, a good portion of students in the program don't want to be journalists. Gemelas, for example, wants to be a pediatrician. "Communication skills in any field is essential," said Gemelas. 

Allison Rhoades is a junior and the technical manager. She teaches the younger students how to use the equipment and runs the show as a director. She has been in the program since she was in sixth grade. "When you think about it's amazing," said Rhoades. 

The program is run through foundation grands and business sponsorships. 

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