Penn Wood High students host education fundraising essay podcast


Each week he explores a different aspect of the trial. Sometimes students recap a week of court activity alongside a lawyer. Sometimes they invite guests like former students and current educators to talk about school supply depletion and school lunch issues.

“We try to structure it in the past, present and future. So our first pre-trial podcasts started with our personal experiences in the district and how we hoped the trial would affect the future. And now we’re actually on the trial itself,” said Trinity Giddings, another of the co-hosts and a junior at Penn Wood.

As of January 14, the students have hosted 13 episodes and captured the attention of their community and school with candid descriptions of conditions there.

Penn Wood senior and co-host Lisa Asamoah said the school lunches are “not the best”. She described the neighborhood’s buildings and ventilation systems as old.

“It’s not really the best learning conditions, because kids are more focused on trying to warm up than trying to learn,” Asamoah said.

She added that the problems have a domino effect on children across the district, such as people with disabilities who need more time to learn or students who need more one-on-one time with children. educators.

“But, we can’t provide because of funding,” Asamoah said.

Although the podcast is not directly affiliated with the school district, episodes have aired during morning announcements. The co-hosts even get help getting to Harrisburg for rallies, and their teachers have been understanding when they need time to record.

Asamoah said her homeroom teacher even played an episode – and her classmates were shocked to hear the subject matter.

The podcast is co-produced by Children First, a youth advocacy group that focuses on the barriers facing children and families in southeastern Pennsylvania. The co-hosts meet virtually every week with their Children First counterparts to describe the episode.

Then the students tape the episode and Haley Kulp, K-12 Field Logistics Coordinator at Children First, edits it. Then the podcast is published on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and the William Penn School District website.

“Even if you don’t go to our school, even if you’re not specifically in our neighborhood, it’s just students talking to you about our condition, how we see things at school, how we see the things in the trial, and we want people to at least give it a chance, to listen and see what we have to say,” Vandy said.

Giddings said when the podcast started, just engaging and listening to people was a main focus. She thought it would be unfortunate if people heard about it when the trial was already over.

“These days I think I just want to educate with our podcast. I feel like our perceptions of classism and how it affects us in everyday life is really overlooked because it’s not ‘s not like racial injustice or gender injustice where it is immediately called out and seen as wrong. Classism is a kind of oppression that is so normal in all aspects of our lives, much of it goes unnoticed, even talking to my peers,” Giddings said.

She pointed to some students’ perception that basic amenities such as bathroom stall doors, functioning sinks, and fully functioning building vents only exist on TV.

“The fact that a lot of kids have had to grow up seeing this as completely normal, when it’s not, is really important to me because once you stand up for yourself and give yourself the right to be mad at the things you weren’t given, then you can start to reconcile and make changes,” Giddings said.

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