How it all began ...

    It all started at Laconia Elementary School back in the mid 1980's. Laconia is a small, Indiana  country town surrounded by cows and the charming folks who hang out with them. my fifth grade class and I decided to create a few commercials as a creative writing and presentation skills assignment. Students wrote about how to sell various things and services, and then their commercials were filmed with the school's video camera - one of those early models that required the tagging along of a heavy battery pack and over the shoulder VCR.

    Soon enough, showing commercials to our own class led to the thought of sharing them with a bigger audience, and before anybody knew it, we were drilling a hole through the wooden floor so a wire could be dropped down into the kindergarten room below! A few school news stories and then the daily weather report followed, and the RBC News was off and running.

    Principal Jim Kendall was 'all for' feeding wires throughout the building to other classrooms, and custodian Charlie Wilson volunteered to crawl through all kinds of dust and debris throughout the cramped school attic to make it happen. When Laconia Elementary and Elizabeth Elementary Schools were  closed in 1987, both schools' populations moved to the old South Central High School - but by then, the RBC News was an established element at Laconia that would carry over into the "new" building where Elizabeth resident and parent Tim Campbell would wire the school with heftier cables which made broadcasts loud and clear for virtually every grade level in all 17 classrooms.

    A new high school had just opened next door, and the old high school was now South Central Elementary School. Businesses from not only the nearby communities of Elizabeth and Corydon -  but also from Louisville and other cities became paying sponsors for the RBC News, and up to $1500 a year was raised through their contributions, providing, of course, that the class created original commercials for them that were aired throughout the live broadcasts, which had blossomed from five-minute programs on a daily basis back in Laconia, to a full one-hour telecast each month at South Central.

    Virtually every student who was ever in the 6th grade at South Central had the open opportunity to take part in the broadcast, and it can be noted that 100% of the class did that very thing in a multitude of ways. From camera-persons to writers, to technicians to on-camera newscasters, this live news telecast was a highly engaging, always on-going program of student input and output that was simply a pleasure of school/community partnership and active participation.                 

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A handout pamphlet from the Laconia days sharing what was to be aired. 

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Students wrote a newsletter for all viewers in later years.

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Newscaster Mike Jobe, along with weather-girl Dana Decker in the early days.