High school teacher Julia Bellaflores Blake wants to expose her students to life beyond their neighborhood.
“I try to help our students to step beyond their community and when I’m talking about their community the school is in the Broadway area in Southeast Houston. For example, I get with them on the 50 bus and we go downtown so that their area spreads out and includes the city, and Texas and the United States. Obviously we want to make them citizens of the world.”
That’s why her students listen to an international radio program, World Have Your Say from the BBC.
This week her students did more than listen.
They helped produce the show, right from their school library.
“I’m Lauren a student here at the Raul Yzaguirre School for Success in Houston, Texas. I’m helping produce today’s show as we talk about the two-mile wide deadly tornado in the neighbor-hooding state of Oklahoma.”
It’s all because Blake sent a random email to one of the producers in London.
That eventually let producers to Houston.
“Hello there, I recognize you too. How are you?”
Ben James is a host and producer for World Have Your Say on the BBC.
“We’ve I guess built up a relationship, a contact between the class here and our team in London and because she’s been with the students, dedicated listeners to our program, we thought we would come and visit those listeners and kind of plug into what they’re doing here.”
Sophomore Maria Talavera says they used all sorts of technology to coordinate before the actual broadcast.
“They’re all the way across, like, you know, in the UK. So, yeah, the internet, computers, emails, Skype, the phones to call them. It’s been a big deal.”
Students helped research for the show on social media and news sites.
A few got to be on the airwaves, like Lauren Perez.
“We’ve been waiting for this a long time because we heard a lot about BBC and everything, so all of us are excited to get a chance for our voices to be heard, too.”
Do you feel like your voice isn’t heard?
“Not most of the time, because there’s other people’s whose voice will be heard. But having BBC here gives us all a chance to express what we think is going on and what we think is important to discuss.”
One issue she thinks would be a great topic is quality education for all students, no matter where they’re from.