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Lights, camera and Pointers

BURLINGTON – Fifth-graders peer into a video camera lens.

Friday, September 15, 2000

BURLINGTON – Fifth-graders peer into a video camera lens.

They recite weather, news and lead students throughout the building in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Welcome to Pointer Pup Channel 6, the latest edition to extracurricular classes at Burlington Elementary School.

"It’s education; it’s fun; it’s something they will remember forever," said Harriette Ramsey, who led the idea from last year’s planning to this year’s production.

The staff thought it would be exciting for students, as well as teach them public speaking skills and help with their writing, Mrs. Ramsey said.

So, during the summer, school district technologists partnered with Burlington to help create the in-school television channel.

Now, every morning just after the schoolbell rings, fifth-grade students spend five or six minutes as anchors, TV production crews, show writers and pledge leaders.

Plans are to let all grades participate, each one taking turns throughout the school year.

Children receive the most benefit, especially with writing, speaking and working together in teams, Mrs. Ramsey said.

Being in front of the camera also helps some students overcome their shyness, she added.

"So it’s an English lesson along with self-esteem," Mrs. Ramsey said. "Those who talk really softly in the classroom are now just talking out, beaming."

It’s like watching caterpillars turning into butterflies.

For students, it’s the chance to work with technology, video and TV. It’s an opportunity to visit local television studios, to see how their adult counterparts do the same thing. It’s the chance of a lifetime, Mrs. Ramsey said.

"And they’re having a wonderful time doing it."

The next step? Figuring out how to hang cue cards from the ceiling.