BY ALAN GOOD
Lucan – “We are broadcasting live from your school,” began Benny DL sitting at radio station ATFM’s remote table. During his show, the DJ talked to someone via satellite feed and fielded phone calls from listeners.
In reality, Benny is Bruce Langford, a music teacher for the last 16 years. His ‘show’ got his message across to students. The point made last week while at Lucan Public School was; Stand Up For Respect.
It follows on the heels of another message he urged last year in a similar format; Stand Up Against Bullying. This lively entertaining, definitely informative show seized the attention of the students.
ATFM stands for A Time For Music.
The faux radio program drew the students into a state of listening that caused them to remember its theme. To demonstrate,
Langford went into the audience several times offering prizes to kids who answered correctly on what they’d seen in his unique show.
Music videos, including one of Rocket Head, which featured Langford’s head flying around the screen talking to students, brought meaning of respect to the kids.
‘ Studio audience’ participation came via lively songs and role playing. The songs were written by Langford who is on leave from the school board.
Kids, growing up on music videos, were mesmerized by the fast-paced action before them.
After the show was over, students received an activity book and DVD. Those who participated in the role playing received a special thank you from Langford and gifts.
An alternative format which features videos, discussion, questions and answers, and role play, is offered to the older kids.
Langford began the programme in 2003 after becoming frustrated
with seeing kids left out or bullied and feeling his hands were tied. One particular student, lonely because of a speech impediment, became the first to be in a music video.
Since then, ATFM has been taken to Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener and Ottawa, as well as many schools in London and area. Sponsored in part by Thames Valley School Board, accolades come from several well known groups.
The next project being created involves a series of videos about Canada. Bruce has videotaped himself in all the provinces and plans to teach kids about our country. A date for its launching is not set.