WKHS kicked off its 2019 On-Air Fund Drive today. The 46-year-old public radio station has been a major element of Kent County High School’s efforts to provide job skills to students. It is one of KCHS’s Career Technology Education tracks. The CTE program also includes agriculture, construction trades, healthcare, machinery, and teaching–among other offerings.
The audience for 90.5 FM is the general public during the school day and the on-air production and marketing staff are all students. Under the direction of KCHS alumnus and Station Manager Chris Singleton, students operate the radio station throughout the school day. Volunteers help to operate the station during evenings and weekends. The balance of the broadcast day is provided by WXPN, the powerhouse Philadelphia public radio station. WKHS has a 60-70 mile broadcast radius.
The program is designed for a three-year immersion in radio broadcasting. Last year, the station completed a renovation and technology upgrades that brought the studio up to speed with major radio stations. Contributions to the non-profit station reached $150,000. The Constructions Trade program built the temporary studio so the station could continue to broadcast during renovations.
Sophomores start with learning basic education about the history of broadcasting and elements of the business: engineering, production, advertising and marketing. By mid-year, they are joining the juniors and seniors who staff the station during the school day.
“By the end of three years, these students will learn skills easily applied to any field or job,” Singleton remarked. “They will be way ahead of many they meet when they get to college or their first job.”
Ken Collins, who spent a career in commercial radio, including over a decade at WCTR, is assisting WKHS, both by sharing insight with students and by directing the station’s fundraising efforts.
“I am working to make this local public radio station financially-independent of the school system,” Collins remarked. “This online appeal is just one part of that effort.”
Visit here to become a supporting member of WKHS.