SAINT-LAURENT, NOVEMBER 1, 2012-- LaurenHill Academy, Quebec’s top-rated high school, is about to launch Canada’s first ever online high school radio station. Under the stewardship of history teacher Louis Bilodeau, this project is 10 years in the making.
The station began with second-hand equipment, old microphones, reel-to-reel tape recorders, and whatever went to air was broadcast over the school’s PA system. “The sound was horrible,” says Mr. Bilodeau.” But the dream was always to broadcast online. And that dream is about to come true. It’s a way to make the students themselves a means of expression, and to give them a voice of their own.”
These are appropriate words since the station is to be called LHA Radio: The Voice. It’s mostly student-driven, with some contributions from Mr. Bilodeau both on and off the air. He hopes other teachers in other disciplines will get involved since, in his view, broadcasting encompasses everything the students have picked up along the way, both in and outside of school.
Radio has been a part of Mr. Bilodeau’s life going back to high school. He was a community broadcaster before he answered the call to teach. “When you have a passion,” he says, “you like to share it.”
It took some effort, but his team managed to convince detractors that this was an idea worth pursuing. “Without the students,” says Mr. Bilodeau, “I would not be able to do anything.”
Broadcasts will include a travel show, The Nerd Herd 2.0, focusing on government, politics, sport, science, and technology, and The Anglais-French Show. The latter will feature news, information, and music in both official languages, to “help the listener see the connection between the languages,” according to the student proposal. It’s all about breaking down barriers.
Production assistance will be provided through a partnership with WebSports Media Network, which will also give the students access to thousands of listeners all over North America. Along with a daily sports update to be broadcast during lunch and after school programming, the network will have also be able to provide access to the local professional sports teams, creating a student reporter program.
LHA Radio: The Voice officially launches on Thursday, November 1 (Noon to 4 p.m.) at 2505 Cote Vertu. The station can be accessed via a player that will be at www.emsb.qc.ca/laurenhill or using the Live365 app on their iPhone, iPad or Android devices.
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