ImaginOn is partnering with WFAE to start a teen radio program, and they’re looking for teenagers in the Charlotte region to apply.
Kelly Czarnecki and Jimmeka Anderson, teen services librarians with ImaginOn, first developed the idea for a teen radio program while meeting with workers from a San Francisco-based teen show called “Youth Radio” during September’s Democratic National Convention.
“It’s the quintessential youth radio program known all over the world,” Czarnecki said. “They were willing to give us advice and were really encouraging us to help us get started.”
Czarnecki said ImaginOn plans to use its existing studio to record the 30-minute radio programs, called “Turn It Up Teen Radio.” The studio already has a sound booth and sound-editing equipment. Nearby, teenagers will have access to the library’s computers and books for research while preparing stories.
Students ages 12 to 18 will be eligible to participate in the program. Applications will be accepted until March 8.
From there, workers will interview teenagers and select roughly 10 to start the new show.
During the four-month program, teenagers will meet from 4 to 6 p.m. every Thursday, with the goal of recording one 30-minute show a month.
Three Thursdays out of the month will be dedicated to researching and conducting interviews, while the fourth Thursday will be reserved for recording the show.
“These will be stories that the teens pick out with the guidance of mentors in the industry,” Czarnecki said. “These are issues that the teens want to discuss.”
After the final program ends, new teenagers will be selected to participate.
Anderson said the taped segments will be featured on WFAE’s website. The radio station may even broadcast the shows on the air, she said.
Czarnecki also added that ImaginOn is looking for adult professional DJs, reporters, journalists and radio personalities to help with the newly created program.
Angela Haigler, spokeswoman with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library System, said Czarnecki and Anderson are constantly searching for opportunities to benefit area teenagers.
For instance, another program the pair recently started was called “Fashion Apprentice,” in which students met fashion industry leaders in the area and worked with professional designers.
“When teenagers participate in programs such as these, they’re learning skills that are going to help them become better citizens,” Haigler said. “They’re gaining career experience but it’s also helping them become good citizens.”
Anderson said the radio program will help teens develop work skills, improve their literacy and do better in school.
“Teens will be able to take their interest, take their hobby and take it to that next level with the library’s assistance,” Czarnecki said.
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