Jumpstart News is broadcast live each morning from Stone's own TV studio, UUSAN, "Unique and Upbeat Stone Academy News." Fourth and fifth grade students make up the Jumpstart crew, as directors, anchors, reporters, camera operators, etc. Each show includes the moment of silence, the value word of the month, student and staff birthdays, the lunch menu, announcements, weather, sports (once a week), and a weekly contest. Each day, there are special features by student commentators or reporters. These change with crew changes and annually, as old features are constantly replaced with fresh feature ideas, usually created by students. Multimedia segments are used daily. There are also frequent talent features, award presentations, and special guests.
One aspect of Jumpstart News that we're particularly proud of, is that most student performers write their own material, on their own time, often collaborating with each other. We love that students don't see this as "extra homework, " but as an opportunity to do something special.
Jumpstart is truly "owned" by students, as they are given only a basic script to work with. Anchors and other performers are encouraged to ad lib, bring in costumes and props, and add their own personalities in to bring their spots to life.
Jumpstart crews are chosen from the fourth and fifth grades. Students audition for on and off camera jobs. Due to the high level of interest, five crews per year divide the year between them. In a typical year, 80 students participate on Jumpstart, out of around 150 applicants. Jumpstart participants are a diverse group, academically and culturally.
Faculty/staff producers are Alice Littlejohn and Charlie Slate, and drama teacher, Nicole Ackerman. Jumpstart News was made possible by a grant, "Prime Time Learning," written by former Stone teachers, Stephanie Price and Mary Berry.
The professional backdrops were donated by WYFF Channel 4 news in 2001. In 2008, we upgraded to an all digital production, and can edit and create video right from the Tricaster, record our live shows with the push of a button, and employ green screen technology in chosen segments.
We are indebted to several wonderful volunteer parents who have helped us make tremendous strides in the quality of the show.