CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – In January, Charlestown Middle School sixth graders were assigned to create a podcast interview using primary sources – someone who is an expert or who has had direct experience with an event. Everyone had free choice to choose their topic, and one student, Clynton Harris, wanted to know what it was like to run an animal shelter.
His teacher, Rose Marie Marinace, put him in touch with the shelter staff, and shelter president of the River Valley Animal Protection League, Donna Montgomery, gave his questions to the shelter director, Kara Lee. Clynton and Kara couldn’t meet for the interview because of Covid, but everyone worked creatively to help the project be a success.
Kara wrote down the answers to Clynton’s questions about running the shelter and caring for the animals. Clynton wrote a script that helped tell the story with her expertise, and then he recorded it.
Mrs. Marinace noticed Clynton’s enthusiasm for the project from start to finish, and they worked together to polish it up for submission to National Public Radio’s Student Podcast Challenge.
Ms. Montgomery and Mrs. Marinace hope to bring students to see the shelter at a later date when field trips are allowed because supporting an early interest in volunteering is good for kids and for the nonprofits they support. Until then, they’ll be waiting to hear the winners of the contest in the late spring.