News Crew is open to 6th graders only, until sometime between February and March. At that point we add a team of 5th graders to the mix so that we have a trained team for the following school year.
We have a team of up to 10 members that are selected from the application process that happens around Spring Break. The application outlines expectations for members, asks them why they want to be on the News, requires a parent or guardian's permission, and a teacher's acknowledgement (since these students may be late for attendance daily). I review the applications and make selections based on the student responses.
Students who participate benefit from the activity by learning some technology skills like setting up a webcam and a Google Hangout, and creating a Google slide presentation to use as a teleprompter. They learn responsibility and teamwork and can even put their creative skills to work with set backdrops and displays if they want. They improve their communication and public speaking skills from daily practice. They are encouraged to bring their own personalities to the table while maintaining a professional presentation. They become leaders in the school because they are visible representatives to their fellow Challengers.