Students learn the importance of staying locally connected

South San Antonio High School’s Bobcat TV news program has now opened up its viewership

Students learn the importance of staying locally connected

SAN ANTONIO – Students in local school districts are learning the importance of staying connected to their communities during this pandemic.

Several school districts have allowed students to continue to broadcast their daily announcements through online news webcasts.

South San Antonio High School’s Bobcat TV news program has now also been opened up for viewership to the entire community. Teacher Ryan Paredez said the program used to be broadcast only on campus when students were present.

“I would typically get 130 views on YouTube and I got about 1,000 or so. There’s a lot more people watching,” Paredez said.

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Sophomore Emma Nava, a co-anchor, coordinates remotely with her teacher and peers to decide the weekly content. It mostly consists of school announcements, updates, sports and weather.

“Unfortunately, I think we live in hard times with the pandemic going on. So we need a sense of connection and family to keep going,” she said.

Paredez said his 17 students used to turn in weekly reports, but due to social distancing, they’ve had to adapt.

Other school districts have also found a way to keep their schools connected. A 5th grader at NISD’s Steubin Elementary School took it upon herself to keep her daily job going.

Vice Principal Virginia Parker said she’s even hired additional staff to help her put together her daily broadcasts — her siblings.

“She realizes the importance of having that in school every day and starting our day like that. And it was really her idea to make sure that we still stay connected as a community, even though we're all at home,” Parker said.

Whether it’s birthdays, weather, or encouraging announcements, students are learning the importance of staying connected locally. Teachers hope it stays with them.

“This is their news. So, having them used to that connection to their super local news I hope, hopefully, they keep that connection to their local community when they start getting older, get into the workforce, voting, things like that,” Paredez said.

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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.