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DJs at Glenbrook South High School Radio station WGBK

DJs at Glenbrook South High School Radio station WGBK

Last month I had the pleasure of visiting WGBK-FM, a high school radio station in suburban Chicago. This was my very first trip to see a station run by teens and I was thrilled to witness young people doing radio.

Not only were they working as DJs on standard music shows, but they were also producing documentaries, PSAs, restaurant reviews, and covering sports events. In the future they will also be hosting live bands in their studios. During my visit to the station, I was amazed and excited to see that kids as young as 13 were getting the opportunity to experience the magic of radio.

WGBK, which airs programming from two different radio stations run by students at Glenbrook South High School and Glenbrook North High School, is one of the handful of high school radio stations in the United States that is regularly recognized with accolades at the John Drury High School Radio Awards.

Both schools that air programming over WGBK offer broadcasting classes, so the experience for these radio students is much like one might get from working at a college radio station.

[Similarly, the U.K. has their Sony Radio Award for Schools competition highlighting excellence in student radio. Recent winners include Radio Roseland and ISCA College Radio.]

For a refreshingly different take on radio, it might be worth your while to seek out a high school radio station in your town. If you can’t find one, then perhaps take a listen to some of these John Drury award-winning stations:

WLTL 88.1 FM – Lyons Township High School, La Grange, Illinois (Won “Best High School Station” 2009)

WBFH 88.1 FM- Bloomfield Hills High School, Michigan (Won 2nd Place for “Best High School Station” 2009)

WGBK 88.1 FM- Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, Illinois (Won 3rd Place for “Best High School Station” 2009)

WGBK 88.1 FM- Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook, Illinois

KDPS 88.1 FM- Central Campus, Des Moines, Iowa (frequency is also shared with a college station)

WWPT 90.3 FM- Staples High School, Westport, Connecticut

WRHS – Reavis High School, Burbank, Illinois

KASB 89.9 FM- Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington

WXBA 88.1 FM- Brentwood High School, Brentwood, New York

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