Many years ago, WFDD created Hive, an education program with the mission to give children the tools and space to share their stories. Beyond that, it planned to teach them skills that would serve them in everyday life and introduce them to radio.

Participating students learn the fundamentals of audio production, what makes a good story, how to write and ask good questions, how to research a subject, how to write a script, voice technique, and how to pull it all together into a piece suitable for broadcast. They create cut-and-copy pieces, feature stories, vox pops, personal reflection stories, and topical news stories, all of which are produced for broadcast on WFDD.

The stories told are diverse and reflect real community issues, from school buses getting in the way of students’ education, to protracted land conflicts, to dangerous loopholes in services frequently used by youth.

Hive is committed to public service, democratizing journalism, community engagement, education, and creating content with substance, purpose, and a uniquely human voice. WFDD hopes to instill curiosity in students across the listening area, and create engaging on-air and web content along the way.

Thanks to the support of parents and past participants, WFDD was able to offer scholarships for a summer Radio Camp program for the first time. This serves to extend the reach of the program, making the summer camp offering available to children whose families may not have the financial resources to pay the fee.

Public media as an industry needs to learn how to engage Gen Z, a generation of content creators highly focused on video. They do not naturally seek out audio as a medium, instead looking to YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat. Hive participants no longer look at public radio as a thing their parents play in the car, but as a vibrant, compelling medium, and another outlet they can use to stand out. They now understand how audio drives the narrative, and are able to apply the skills developed in our program to any and all creative endeavors.

Hive is not a static program. Since its inception, it has been constantly evolving and growing. The main obstacle has been balancing the demand for the program with the available human resources. WFDD would like to be able to offer Hive to more students of different backgrounds and ages.