School District U-46 started to broadcast student programming on the district's radio station WEPS 88.9 FM on Tuesday, Nov. 12. WEPS will feature both English and Spanish programming.
"This will be a valuable resource for our students, parents and community to learn more about what's happening in our district and we're excited about offering programming in both English and Spanish," said Superintendent Dr. Josť M. Torres. "Participating in WEPS will help our students learn valuable communication skills, give them hands-on interviewing experience and help prepare them for college and the workplace."
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Bartlett, Elgin, Gifford Street, Larkin, South Elgin and Streamwood high schools initiated radio clubs to get high school students involved across the district. Students are meeting weekly and starting to produce their own programs. Each high school is working toward producing one hour of programming per week.
"Larkin's one-hour weekly program is designed to create awareness about Larkin's successes, and to provide a creative venue for students who have something to say," said Larkin High School radio professional Virginia Bailey.
Student programming will include a variety of shows from radio soap operas to school news and sports and film reviews.
"When I first signed up for the Larkin Radio Club, I didn't expect we would have the opportunity to produce a half-hour of Spanish programming. I'm looking forward to having my voice heard on the radio," said Larkin junior Juana Contreras.
WEPS is Illinois' oldest operating noncommercial, educational radio station. After the school board approved the radio station, WEPS received its Federal Communications Commission license in October of 1949. WEPS officially signed on the air Friday, Jan. 13, 1950, with one hour of programming. Hundreds of high school students received credit for taking the radio broadcasting class and many participated in the "WEPS Radio Club" until the late 80s.
In 2002, WEPS started a daily live morning show about school information, news, weather and school sports from 6-8 a.m. WEPS is also currently broadcasting Wisconsin Public Radio and has been since 2005. The district will continue to air WPR in addition to student produced content.
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