Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Student Reporter interviews President Obama

Cross posted to the Storychasers blog.

Earlier this month student reporter Damon Weaver interviewed President Barack Obama, and the 10 minute interview was posted to YouTube:

According to the school’s YouTube channel description:

KEC TV is an award winning television news program that is broadcasted to the 500 students at KEC/Canal Point Elementary. The news program is completely produced by a selected group of 5th and 6th grade students.

KEC TV student reporter Damon Weaver’s dream was to interview President Barack Obama. For over nine months Damon and his teacher (Brian Zimmerman) have worked very hard to obtain an interview with Barack Obama. On Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm Damon’s dream came true when he interviewed President Obama in the White House.

I would like to thank President Obama’s White House Press staff for helping us secure the interview. I would also like to thank all of our friends in the media for all of their support. Last I would like to thank all of the people in the world that have supported Damon Weaver as he pursued his dream.

The school’s YouTube channel has over 90 videos, including many other interviews conducted by Damon and other students. WOW.

According to Education Week’s August 17th article, “Media Savvy Helps Student Reporter Land Obama Interview,”

There’s a good chance you’ve already heard or seen Damon’s story. During the 2008 presidential election, he and his classmates from Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary School received national media attention for the election coverage they were producing at their school’s news station, KEC-TV. Damon led the newsroom’s coverage by talking with many of Barack Obama’s supporters, including this interview with now Vice President Joe Biden which spread quickly across the Web.

Brian Zimmerman, the KEC-TV news club director and Damon’s teacher, oversaw the election coverage. He helped Damon and his classmates gain access to press events, so that the students could produce and edit broadcast segments like professional journalists. The resulting work has been posted online to video-sharing sites, including KEC-TV’s own YouTube channel, which has attracted nearly 50,000 page views.

According to Scott Wykoff:

[Damon] Weaver, son of a single mom, lives in the town of Pahokee, which is about 77 miles northwest of Miami and plagued with crime and poverty. He attends Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary and is the lead broadcaster for their in-house KEC TV station.

Way to go storychaser Damon!

H/T to Eric Dawson for this link. On September 8, 2009, President Obama is expected to address students in the U.S. live over a videoconference. More information should be forthcoming on the White House website as well as the Department of Education’s website.

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One response to “Student Reporter interviews President Obama”

  1. […] ideas I’d like to share with other teachers.  For example, today, I saw a story about a student interview Barack Obama, so I shared it in my Google Reader hoping some of the middle school teachers I work […]