BURGAW, NC (WECT) - Penderlea Elementary School has installed something no other school in the county has, and it has become the "buzz" of their community.
Penderlea's principal, Diego LeHocky, now makes the morning announcements, not over a PA system, but broadcast over the school's new radio station.
Buzz Radio is on FM frequency 89.5. The "buzz" is because of the school's mascot, Hornets.
Ron Murphy worked in broadcasting before going back to school to get a degree in education. Today, he is a kindergarten teacher at Penderlea, but still has radio in his blood.
So, when Four County Electric offered their "Bright Energy" grant money, Murphy, along with band instructor Robbie Anderson and art teacher Douglas Lloyd applied for and got a $1,000 grant. The money was to buy microphones and a transmitter, and that is how WPLS was born.
"It is a unique educational opportunity for the kids and they are real excited about it," said LeHocky. "And as it moves along, we want to have the kids more involved."
The programming varies, but it is centered around school activities. Assistant Principal Bryan Abernethy has a regular health segment for the students and kindergarten instructor Eva Briggs does the weather reports.
"We thought it would be a great way to showcast what the students are doing in the classrooms and inform parents about what is going on in the school," said Douglas Lloyd, a Penderlea teacher.
"Our ides for the future are that we are going to let the students take over the responsibilities, to be the producers and directors of the radio station," said Ron Murphy, a Penderlea teacher.
WPLS is a low power station, the transmitter located on the window shelf in the principal's office. The coverage area is only about one mile.
So the next time you are in the vicinity of Penderlea school, flip your radio dial over to 89.5, to find out what the "buzz" is all about.
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