‘Good Morning Morgan’ brings elementary students the news

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2021

GOLD HILL — Morgan Elementary starts its days with news delivered by its own students.

“Good Morning Morgan” was started by a previous technology facilitator at the school, and Kendel Cozart continued it after she stepped into the role five years ago.

The program covers school news, local news, sports and weather. It is broadcast straight to fellow students via streaming software. The students also get the “Morgan Essentials” that cover school rules. After some training during the first couple months of school, the kids do everything.

“They write the scripts, they film, they produce using streaming software, they do pretty much all of it and I’m kind of just the adviser,” Cozart said.

Cozart said the show is a good way to keep kids involved in what is happening at the school and highlight them as well.

The pandemic made things more difficult during the previous school year. Cozart said the school still wanted to provide that opportunity for students. So, sometimes segments would be filmed from home and edited together. When they could produce the show from the school, they only had two students in the room at once.

On any given day now, five students are in the room and they rotate from a team of a dozen depending on the day.

Cozart said how many students take part varies from year to year. Last year, the restrictions put a damper on things. Cozart had to recruit this year, resulting in the first completely new team for the show since it started.

Some kids want to be on camera, and others want to work behind the scenes. The program is for fourth and fifth graders.

“I had some students who knew they did not want to be on video at all,” Cozart said. “They wanted to be behind the scenes with the software and working on iPads, writing scripts. I asked them to join based on their strengths and interests.”

Some of the kids who did not make it onto the team could join Cozart’s digital media crew that helps with projects such as the yearbook.

Cozart said she is amazed at the computer skills the students develop. Working on the show helps some kids become more confident in being professional and showing their personalities.

Cozart said in her position she is often working more on devices than directly with students. She started her career as an elementary school teacher, and the show gives her the chance to still form relationships with students every morning.

Morgan Principal Derek DiStefano said the program’s benefits for students are two-fold: it provides leadership experience and a sense of ownership for the students involved and provides useful information to the rest of the school.

DiStefano tunes in every morning and says the kids do a fantastic job. DiStefano said the program fits into the district’s renewal focus on interpersonal skills.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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