All the 'Buzz'

Fulton Middle School students broadcast on Internet radio

Leah Speer and Kaitlyn Epperson, Fulton Middle School students, pose for a photo with their video cameras Thursday inside the middle school. Speer and Epperson are members of the Fulton Middle School Broadcasting Club and have shown an interest in video.

Leah Speer and Kaitlyn Epperson, Fulton Middle School students, pose for a photo with their video cameras Thursday inside the middle school. Speer and Epperson are members of the Fulton Middle School Broadcasting Club and have shown an interest in video. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

Fulton parents wondering what is going on at the middle school, want to hear their child’s voice or who are simply on the hunt for music they can feel comfortable about their kids listening to can find all those things on one place: The Buzz.

The Internet radio station, operated by the FMS Broadcasting Club, plays edited top 40 hits, school announcements, public service announcements and even radio shows — all created by Fulton Middle School students.

The Broadcasting Club was started two years ago by technology teacher Jan Bailey and paraprofessional Jason Rosenstengel, and is funded through grants from the Fulton Public Schools Foundation, which have helped pay for equipment and music subscriptions.

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Fulton Middle School students Braden Rosenstengel (left) and Luke Habjan smile as they answer questions about their radio show Thursday.

“It’s like Y107, but the music is clean — if there’s a lyric that’s inappropriate for school, I have the software to go in and edit it,” Rosenstengel said. “Basically what it’s for is if the teachers want to offer a reward to their class — it’s the kind of music most of the kids like, but (the teachers) know it’s safe. The kids are getting appropriate content, but it’s to their interest level.”

Rosenstengel said he and Bailey created the club “for students who maybe didn’t have anything else after school.”

In addition to the internet radio station, students also make videos of school functions, assemblies and athletic events that are played in the cafeteria during breakfast and lunch.

Seventh grader Kaitlyn Epperson said she joined the group because “I’m one of those people who is really into music and movies, and when I heard they had started The Buzz I thought it would be a good opportunity to have fun with friends but also an opportunity to make videos and be on the radio.

“I like just telling people I work for the radio with my school, and having kids in my class ask, ‘Can we listen to The Buzz?’” Epperson said. “It’s really cool.”

“It feels like everybody loves The Buzz,” agreed sixth grader Braden Rosenstengel, who said his favorite part of the club is putting together videos and working on his radio show with classmate Luke Habjan.

“I just wanted to be part of something that was fun and that I could be known for,” Rosenstengel said.

Seventh grader Leah Speer said she joined because she “thought it would be a really cool experience, and Mrs. Bailey is one of my favorite teachers.”

“I wanted to broaden my knowledge of video and radio,” Speer said, noting she mostly does recording and video editing.

Eighth grader Paige Jennings, who primarily writes scripts to record for the radio station, said her favorite part is “getting in front of the microphone and recording.”

“It takes a lot of commitment, but you have a lot of fun,” Jennings said.

Seventh grader Samuel Wood also said he has had a lot of fun with the Broadcasting Club.

“You get to do a lot of stuff,” Wood said. “It’s fun all the videos you get to do and say you actually made them.”

“There’s so much fun stuff you can make,” agreed eighth grader Lexi Begemann. “It’s a lot of fun and you can make a lot of friends and learn a lot on computers and radio.”

Sixth grader Rylee McCray said she got involved because she had always been into radio and music.

“Music is basically my life,” McCray said, noting her favorite project to work on was the video of Miss Missouri’s recent visit to the middle school.

Like Begemann, she said getting involved in the club gave her a whole new group of friends.

“You really get to know all the people and they’re really nice,” McCray said. “Everyone here is like brothers and sisters — basically we’re one huge family here at The Buzz.”

Bailey said one of her favorite things about the Broadcasting Club has been watching the students as they learn and develop new skills.

“It’s been fun to see their confidence grow,” she said.

Jason Rosenstengel was quick to agree.

“You can see it when they’re in the hallways,” he said. “Before they were shy and reserved, and now you see them being social.”

The Buzz is online at http://www.live365.com/stations/harveyhornet. There also is a link on the middle school website.

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