Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Classroom Voices

Student Voices: Watch these 5 TikToks on student-led reporting by PBS Student Reporting Labs

August 1, 2022

In June, 2022, 27 high school students joined PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs’ Summer Academy for an intensive video journalism camp, where they worked in groups and produced local news stories. This year’s Academy took place in-person at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in Phoenix after two years of virtual bootcamps.

Throughout the summer, NewsHour Classroom has made Daily News Lessons on some of the student journalism produced at the Summer Academy. Classroom interns Ella Cohen and Vivien Williams have created TikTok videos on the Academy pieces.

The Daily News Lessons cover a number of subjects: a dance studio founder who gives students financial support to learn dance; a muralist who invites elementary school students to create art in public spaces; an immigrant who received a guitar upon entrance to the United States; two immigrants who started small businesses in Phoenix; and foster kids who attend cowboy camp.

For more stories by Student Reporting Labs, click here.

1) Dance company founder breaks down financial barriers for young Latino dancers


Welcome to PBS NewsHour Classroom’s Daily News Lesson series on stories by Student Reporting Labs! This time we report on a dance studio founder from Phoenix, Arizona that gives dance scholarships to students in need. #sschat #edutok #lessonplan #teachersoftiktok

♬ Storytelling – Adriel
Student producers: Natalie Lett, Roberto Suarez, Marlo Brown, and Savanna Atstupenas

Summary: Rescapetatiando Dance Studio founder Frank Ornelas discovered his passion for dance by watching ballets on PBS as a child, but could not afford classes. Ornelas now connects talented young Latino dancers in Phoenix, Arizona with sponsors who provide financial support to attend intensive dance classes at his studio. The dance style reflects the young dancers’ culture while developing their physical, mental and emotional wellness.

Daily News Lesson: Dance company founder breaks down financial barriers for Latino teens pursuing professional dance

2) Laloland: empowering young people to paint in community


Welcome to another PBS Daily News Lesson! Today’s lesson discussed how artist Lalo Cota works with elementary school students to paint murals in public spaces! #sschat #edutok #lessonplan #teachersoftiktok

♬ Shadow Of Heaven – Attitude
Student producers: Alexa D’Amato, Ajani Obaseki, Lily Ramos, and Ingrid Ramos-Aranda

Summary: Phoenix-based painter and muralist Lalo Cota has made his mark through his vibrant imagery that fuses together life, death, sombrero-shaped spaceships, Mexican folk art and lowrider culture. In collaboration with Alhambra Elementary School District art teacher Candace Greene, Cota has grown his practice in a way that now invites students of all ages to co-create with him in public spaces throughout the Phoenix metro area.

Daily News Lesson: Empowering young people to paint murals in public spaces

3) Welcoming refugees with donated musical instruments


Welcome to the third video in the PBS NewsHour Classroom Daily News Lesson series! This one discusses how a refugee from Afghanistan recieved a guitar to pursue her musival dreams! #sschat #edutok #lessonplan #teachersoftiktok #greenscreen

♬ Joel Beam-JP – Carlton Banksy
Student producers: Orion Boone, Alexis Schmidt, Lizzie Pegg, and Maikel De Avila

Summary: When Taliban forces overtook Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, Elaha Nazari evacuated and sought asylum in the United States. Through a youth-led organization in Phoenix, Arizona, Elaha received a donated guitar to pursue her musical dreams. Student Reporting Labs (SRL) produced this story at the 2022 summer academy in early July.

Daily News Lesson: Welcoming refugees through the gift of musical instruments

4) Immigrant entrepreneurs build community in Phoenix


#greenscreen Welcome back to the Daily News Lesson Series on stories by Student Reporting labs! This time we focus on how immigrant-owned businesses help communities thrive in places like Pheonix, Arizona! #pbs #students #sschat #teachersoftiktok #lessonplans #immigrant #edutok #immigrantowned #businesses #entrepreneur #education

♬ Fun Time – Playful Dance Fitness Inspiration – TheProSound
Student producers: Faiza Ashar, Johann Rodriguez Viera, and Brianna Schmidt

Summary: One in five Phoenix residents are immigrants, and whether leaving a country by choice or in search of safety, most come to the United States looking for a new start. Meet two who are building businesses to support their families, communities and futures. This story was produced at the 2022 PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Academy.

Daily News Lesson: Immigrant entrepreneurs build community in Phoenix

5) Kids in foster care become cowboys at this camp


#greenscreen Welcome back to the Daily News Lesson Series on stories by Student Reporting labs! This time we focus on the importance of showing support for kids in the foster care system through a program called Cowboy Camp. #pbs #srl @p@s#teachersoftiktokb#sschath#edutokk#educationt#fostercared#cowboy #lessonplan #teacher#pbsnewshourteacher #pbsnewshour

♬ Upbeat Background – SixideBeats
Student producers: Giovanny Soriano, Akilah Lewis, Mariana Arboleda, and Caedmon Peterson

Summary: Young people in Arizona’s foster care system step out of their comfort zones, form deep friendship bonds, and have an experience that will stay with them the rest of their lives at cowboy camp.

Daily News Lesson: Kids in foster care become cowboys at this camp

Ella Cohen, a rising junior at Washington-Liberty high school and intern at NewsHour Classroom, wrote today’s Daily News Lesson with editing by Vic Pasquantonio. Ella Cohen and Vivien Williams produced these five TikTok videos on stories by Student Reporting Labs.

Sign up for NewsHour Classroom’s ready-to-go Daily News Lessons delivered to your inbox each morning of the school year. Fill out this form to share your thoughts on today’s lesson.

Do you have a story idea?

Pitch a student or educator to NewsHour Classroom

  • Please upload the files to support your story/idea.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, doc, docx, mp4, mp3, Max. file size: 50 MB.