La Plata, MD- WTOP, a local news radio outlet, is holding a Junior Reporter Contest. Three Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students are among the contestants vying for a WTOP feature and tour of the station’s studio. The winners also receive $500 for themselves and $1,000 for their school.
CCPS students in the semifinals are Jai’Varn Hatton, a fourth grader at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School; Brianna High, a junior at La Plata High School, and Kaitlyn Moyers, a fifth grader at William A. Diggs Elementary School. The contestant categories are divided by grade levels — elementary, middle and high. Voting is open through Nov. 9 at https://wtop.com/contests/reporter/#VOTENOW.
Although only 9 years old, Hatton has a nose for news. An actor and model who takes lessons at Kids Industry Prep, he tunes into news programs, and learned of the Junior Reporter Contest while listening to WTOP with his dad. When he’s not in front of an audience, he’s in front of cheering fans, playing soccer and football. “I am delighted to be provided with the opportunity to help my school by doing what I love best which is acting and voiceover,” Hatton said. CCPS students are featured in Hatton’s entry including Deonna Davis, a Milton M. Somers Middle School sixth grader, Eian Yejide, a senior at Henry E. Lackey High School, Clara-Jane Quinn, a sixth grader at General Smallwood Middle School and Olivia-Rae Quinn, a Gale-Bailey Elementary School fifth grader.
Reporting is nothing new to High. She is an anchor for the CCPSTV NewsBreak program. Relaying accurate information to an audience is crucial, she said. “Knowing what is going on in your local community, state, nation and world, is very important,” High said. “It’s good to be aware of problems and events so you can become involved in them and maybe even be part of the solution.” High is interested in a career in the medical field and wants to study biology in college.
As a member of Diggs’s “Rise Up News Crew,” Moyer is familiar with being in front of the camera. “I want to be a part of journalism and reporting the news,” she said. “I love to learn and share facts about new and exciting things with others.” Moyer enjoys working with the news crew at school to keep students and staff informed about what is going on around them.
She is also comfortable behind the camera, filming and narrating documentaries of her home life.