In 2012, the first annual High School Radio Day took place on May 16. The day was established in order to celebrate high school radio and raise awareness about the small number of remaining high school radio stations. This year, High School Radio Day is scheduled for Wednesday, April 24.
According to a press release, “Since there are so few high schools with radio stations, organizers hope that High School Radio Day will raise a greater awareness of the ones that are still broadcasting after so many have been shut down due to school district budget cuts.”
Sadly, I’m all too familiar with this trend. In the last year I’ve reported on several high school radio stations that have had to shut down. WLMH-FM in Ohio had its license deleted by the FCC after the station had been off the air for more than year due to budget cuts. KVHS-FM in California has also faced challenges this past year after its school was converted to a charter school and its faculty adviser was laid off. At a district board meeting this week, approval was granted to explore the possibility of leasing the station’s FM signal to an outside group.
At the same time, there’s still optimism about high school radio. High School Radio Day is a nice attempt to bring stations together, especially in light of their scarcity. The annual John Drury High School Radio Awards competition also works to connect and recognize stellar student radio practitioners (high school stations can submit entries from now until November, 2013).
Another bright spot this year was news about a sizable donation to Haverford High School radio station WHHS-FM in Pennsylvania. One of the oldest high school stations in the country, WHHS hopes to use the funds to upgrade its studio.
Last year, 31 stations registered for High School Radio Day and this year there are already 36 high school stations from 16 states slated to participate. I look forward to hearing more about specific plans for High School Radio Day as we get closer to April 24th. Hopefully more stations will get involved and more people will take the time to tune in to high school radio. Personally, I think it’s incredible that teenagers at high school radio stations have the opportunity to do broadcasting at such a young age.