LSU’s Coastal Roots Program to add broadcasting element for kids

LSU’s Coastal Roots Program to add broadcasting element for kids
Photo provided by LSU Media Relations
Education
Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 12:16pm

LSU’s Coastal Roots program has introduced a new element to help teach children about coastal stewardship, the LSU Coastal Literacy Radio Stewardship Project for Kids, or CLRSPK.

CLRSPK, pronounced “clear speak,” allows students to digitally record and broadcast radio shows about what they are learning with respect to issues facing Louisiana’s coast. Belle Chase Middle School, Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School and St. Charles Satellite Center will participate in CLRSPK.

Students from all grade levels use digital audio recorders to create segments about what they are learning in their classroom and at Coastal Roots restoration sites. Segments include interviews, songs, original poetry, rap and informational pieces. Topics cover a wide variety of environmental and coastal issues.

These radio shows are edited and broadcast from a low-frequency AM transmitter at school, which typically covers the entire campus. The shows are also available for those outside of the listening range.

“There are many ways to encourage students to be good stewards,” said Pam Blanchard, associate professor in the LSU College of Education and director of Coastal Roots. “I have found by using their words they can take action and understand what’s going on around them. It makes learning more meaningful.”

The program’s success has allowed two teachers from Belle Chasse Middle School to attend the Environ-mental Education and Communication Conference in Saskatchewan, Canada. At the conference, the teachers shared their experiences with Coastal Roots and CLRSPK. They also brought back information about other stewardship projects.

The launch of CLRSPK was made possible with funding from the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program. Artist Boat, a nonprofit organization based in Galveston, helped with the technical aspects of installation and training.

The Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, based at LSU, promotes stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone.

Artist Boat is dedicated to promoting awareness and preservation of coastal margins and the marine environment through the disciplines of the sciences and the arts.

Through LSU Costal Roots, Blanchard works with teachers and students from more than 40 schools in 18 parishes to grow native plants for coastal wetland restoration. Students participating in Coastal Roots have grown and planted more than 56,000 restoration plants on more than 150 trips to Louisiana’s coastal areas.

For more information about Coastal Roots, click here.

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