Local teacher trying to enlist the help of a B.C. billionaire for new radio station

Campbell River could be the birthplace for a groundbreaking innovation to foster communication between our youth

Campbell River could be the birthplace for a groundbreaking innovation to foster communication between our youth with the launch of a new radio station.

Kidz Talk Radio, a program designed for students through middle school to high school, is tentatively set to take to the airwaves on Oct. 19.

The program, designed as an after school or weekend project, is the brainchild of Timberline teacher Diana Camerin, who was inspired by an article she read about the lack of communication between youth.

“So I thought ‘why don’t we give them an opportunity to communicate in a different way,’” said Camerin during a presentation to city council Tuesday night. “Let’s look at something where they actually have to do research and they have to communicate, so we came up with Kidz Talk Radio. They have to do research, they have to communicate, they have to read, they have to do PSAs (public service announcements), and they have to talk to each other, using current technology to verify their sources.”

Camerin has already written the curriculum for the program and she’s enlisted the help of former River FM DJ Dave Reynolds and social media guru Sean Smith.

With the help of local radio stations, Camerin and her students have already created videos explaining the teaching value around the radio station product.

Camerin’s goal is to put in a streaming Internet radio system at the Robron Learning Centre to podcast out broadcasts from the Multicultural Association so people visiting Campbell River from abroad and those who have chosen to relocate here can tell the world why they chose Campbell River.

The aim is to have a forum where youth can talk about their passion, whatever it may be.

The idea has already spawned a possible Kidz Talk Aboriginal program.

“I want you to think about what that sounds like when our Aboriginal youth actually speak to an elder in their own language and broadcast that out to the world from Campbell River,” Camerin said.

The program also has the potential to get teens more involved in their community.

“Kidz Talk Community, an older age program, where they find out what’s going on in the community and talk about it in a podcast,” Camerin said. “Writing a PSA for things like Spirit Square or whatever it is that’s going on and having a voice that they can broadcast to the world.”

Camerin already has a plan for taking the program nation-wide.

“The proposal I wrote is currently sitting on Jimmy Pattison’s desk,” she said. “I have asked them to consider becoming the sponsor to take this program from Campbell River out through their broadcast system. Now that’s a fairly lofty goal and I don’t know if it’s going to happen but if it doesn’t, I am going to find Jimmy’s phone number and I am going to call him and we’ll get it in a different way.”

The last piece is using the program to set students up for post secondary education. Camerin has already been working with BCIT to use Kidz Talk Radio as a first-year credit program.

What’s missing is the funding. Camerin’s program is challenging to win $150,000  in the Aviva Community Fund contest, which pits community projects against one another in a bid to garner the most votes.

Other Campbell River campaigns vying for votes include the Tidemark which is trying to raise money for new seats, computerized stage lighting, online ticketing system, and an in-house projection system and monitors. Also in the running is The River House, a project submitted by Smith to have a central place for volunteers who work on a variety of local causes, from Relay for Life to Cameryn’s Cause. MARS bird rescue society and an Aboriginal literacy program are also competing for votes and would benefit Campbell River.

Go to www.avivacommunityfund.org to cast a vote.