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WRUV & H.O. Wheeler 3rd graders team up for MLK Jr. Day

February 4, 2010

In January, students from WRUV-FM at UVM traveled to Burlington’s Old North End to work with students from the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler. Together, the WRUV and 15 Wheeler students developed a batch of public service announcements to play on WRUV, 90.1 in Burlington.

January 2010: Students from the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler visit WRUV at UVM

For the final meeting, the third graders and their teacher took a bus (borrowed from the Burlington Boys and Girls Club, just down the street from Wheeler) to the University of Vermont and the WRUV studio. For most of these students, it was the first trip not only to a working radio station but to a university. The majority of them come from families where neither parent has been to college, and their teacher, Gavin Wallace, said he hoped the trip would help get them thinking about college as a possibility.

As you listen to their recordings, keep in mind that—at a school with a large percentage of foreign-born students, many of them refugees who have resettled to Vermont—about half of these students grew up speaking not English but, among other languages, Arabic, Turkish, Romanian and Maay-Maay, the language of the Somali Bantu people. In their families, they or their siblings are often the only ones in the house who speak any English at all, as their parents still struggle to learn English.

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