Barbe High School students producing newscast

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC)-  Savannah Sommers, a student teacher at Barbe High School has put a new spin on speech class.

"It's not like your everyday class where you have to just sit down and write all the time," said student Nikima Malbrough.

Sommers doesn't teach your typical speech class because she remembers what it once was like to go to school.

Sommers stated, "I know when I was in high school, it was one of those... I hated going to class and sitting and writing notes the entire time."

Sommers' class gives students a chance to broadcast their own news and learn life lessons in front and behind the camera. Her students learn how to shoot, edit, write, and anchor, to help them overcome their speaking fears.

"I used to be nervous in front of a big crowd, but I kind of like it now," said student Derran Phillips.

Student Gill Muse stated, "It became natural, so a crowd of people I don't know actually makes me want to give them an example of who I am."

"Public speaking, being one of the fears Americans have, if they can accomplish it in high school where there's so many things that are up against these students, they're going to do well," said Sommers.

Sommers' class also focuses on pushing students to step outside of their comfort zone by working in groups.

"You just have to break your shell, you just have to get out there and do it, and you learn to cope with other people's differences," stated Muse.

"You might come up with an idea and then somebody else in the group might come up with something to improve that," said student Keeton Mark.

These students are learning life lessons now, so they can apply them to the real encounters they'll have in the future.

"Anywhere that these students go, they're going to need these social skills, so that's what this class is pretty much about," said Sommers.

The students will continue broadcasting news through Friday.

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