Sanchez School

Sanchez School ’s The Impact of Learning

BSound Youth Radio Project

The Impact of Learning BSound Youth Radio Project received the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Award for documentary production in 2002.

The The Impact of Learning (BSound Youth Radio Project) was conceptualized and implemented in 2001 at Sanchez Elementary by former secretary, Patricia Terrazas, during receding academic opportunities nationwide for low-income Latino and African American students. This youth radio project was part of a broader school improvement strategy that Dr. Isola and the faculty offered students through alternative teaching approaches that revitalized learning and created greater equity in educational outcomes.

This educational initiative provided staff and students instructional tools for teaching and learning in the 21st Century. Staff and students analyzed and organized data they had gathered from the school community around topics they identified as important. They then presented their ideas through radio programs they developed for public airing throughout the Bay Area on the school district radio station- KALW 91.7 FM with an audience of more than 3200 listeners. Students used higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation as well as public speaking skills to articulate their ideas and emotions in multiple modalities and genres while participating in public discourse on the public radio station.

This youth radio project was a strategy to address the marginalization and silencing of low-income students of color and to demonstrate their intellectual potential when provided appropriate learning conditions. A main objective was to empower students through opportunities to express and build their identities by sharing personal stories and experiences, while challenging student images based on low expectations and deficits. BSound enrichment program’s innovative teaching and learning challenged the inherent “status quo” strategy, by creating improved opportunities to improve students’ learning capabilities in an accessible, supportive and dynamic research and inquiry based environment. Sanchez School was an ideal incubator site for this project with over 80% of the students qualifying for free/reduced lunch and over 60% coming from linguistically diverse families.

The BSound goals were:

  1. Implementation of an enrichment radio broadcast curriculum with a production timeline for 8-10 4/5th grade students (known as “production crew”) for the 2001-2002 school year with improved academic achievement for project participants;
  2. Recruit/train technical student advisers;
  3.  Build collaborative relationships with the outside community.
  4.  Provide examples to the broader community of students performing at high academic levels that challenge conventional expectations of students’ capabilities for learning.

Five programs were produced that can be listened to in the sections below:

  1. Accessing Identity – this topic opened up the series to ponder who am I? Where am I from? Where do I belong? …(the discovery process)
  2. The Imaginative Mind – as we ponder and reflect upon ourselves, what makes me who I am? Why? How do I think and/or create?….ideas (art)
  3. Writing the World – given the ideas I have, how do I communicate them? Why is it important to share?…literacy
  4. Learning to Understand – literacy, I now know how to learn – math, science, etc… (finding meaning)
  5. The Reason I’m Here – what’s my purpose? …achieving goals, graduation, society, etc.