Digital arts class hits the airwaves at Lyman Gilmore |

Digital arts class hits the airwaves at Lyman Gilmore

When the Gilmore News Network turns on, hundreds of children tune in to see the hard work of fellow students who put together a weekly, 10-minute report.

It’s broadcast Friday mornings over a closed circuit in every classroom in Lyman Gilmore Middle School, in Grass Valley.

What most students don’t see are the children who staff the control room, busy adjusting the volume on the telecast, or the student typing furiously on the teleprompter.

“They are a tight group, and they have a great sense of pride in what they’re doing,” said Stan Lathrop, who teaches the digital arts class at Lyman Gilmore. “There’s no reward for them outside of what they produce here.”

A group of about 15 students volunteer to put on the GNN newscast each week, meeting in the mornings before school to shoot footage for the upcoming show.

Adolescents take turns with different jobs at the station, from serving as a floor producer to on-air talent and working behind-the-scene technical aspects of the show.

“We like everyone to try to do every job,” Lathrop said.

If their interest is piqued putting together GNN, some students can take Lathrop’s elective class, where they get a long-term look at the digital arts by producing a monthly news magazine show.

This year, the class is doing a special project: A look into their school’s namesake, Lyman Gilmore.

It’s part of a six-minute feature they’ll submit to a contest later this year and plan to screen for the community.

Among the more interesting facts about the mine owner who lived from 1874 to 1951 was his claim he flew before the Wright brothers and his peculiar sanitary habits.

“He never shaved, and didn’t take showers or baths,” said Zach Alcantara, an eighth-grader at the school.

“When he was sick once, the doctors burned his clothes because they were infected,” added Wyatt Price, a seventh-grader in the class. “He was mad, because he’d sewn $15,000 into them.”

The class is diligently researching Gilmore, gathering old newspaper clippings and some live footage of him from the library and interviewing elderly residents of western Nevada County who knew the man.

“This is pretty important stuff,” Lathrop said. “He died in 1951, and there aren’t that many people (still) around who knew him. To get that sort of stuff on tape is valuable.

“The students get a lot out of this,” Lathrop added. “It really taps into their creativity and sense of a group project.”

The class plans to premier the piece on Gilmore at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 255 S. Auburn St., Grass Valley.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail, or call (530) 477-4239.

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