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Lake Hood Elementary School Student Hosts Zoom "Radio" Show for Students and Staff

student with computer

Lake Hood Elementary School student Casen Kallman hosts his show and collaborated with his teacher Ms. Shannon Basner on his logo and opening script. (Credit: Shannon Basner)

Traditional media like print and radio seem antiquated in today’s connected world of social media, podcasts, blogs, and online-only news sites. But one sixth grade student in Lake Hood Elementary's School Based Behavior Support (SBBS) Program is making a name for himself due to his bi-monthly "radio-style" show on Zoom for Lake Hood students and staff.

“Casen the Sensation Radio Show” is the brainchild of Lake Hood student Casen Kallman and Lake Hood SBBS teacher Ms. Shannon Basner – created when students were distance-learning during the school's closure to in-person learning. “Casen and I discussed various projects he could work on during a distance-learning environment. I broached the subject with Kallman’s mother, who felt it was a great idea!” said Basner.

The SBBS program is now in its ninth year, where the connection between student, teacher, and family is integral to their success. The behavior-based instruction embraces social emotional learning (SEL), teaching students frustration tolerance, problem-solving techniques, and other techniques for challenging behavior. A cohort of support from the school nurse, principal, assistant principal, and administration support staff help bridge connections to their SBBS students and enhance feelings of community spirit.

Basner thought of ways to encourage other types of participation because students were not required to have webcams on during distance-learning. The idea of a radio show evolved through conversations with Kallman. Basner thought he was a perfect fit for the radio format, and it allowed Kallman to demonstrate peer role modeling at Lake Hood. “He is an exceptional young man who created a chess club for our school [before the extended closure] and helped expand our SBBS Community Outreach Project to help our seniors and those experiencing homelessness,” said Basner.

The bi-monthly radio show begins with Kallman’s trademark opening, “let me tell you a little bit about this show. I am a sixth-grader at Lake Hood Elementary. I wanted to start this show so that I could share knowledge, current events, and other important information going on in our community and other places. I hope you that will enjoy listening, participating, and connecting.”

Kallman and Basner’s goal to connect and spread a positive message has landed him a few big-time guest appearances, such as ASD Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop. Kallman's mother hasn't been a guest of her son's show, but Basner describes her as Kallman's biggest fan. "[She] has been incredibly supportive with the class [and the SBBS program], and embraces projects that help propel Casen's skills and talents."

"Casen the Sensation" runs on Zoom every other Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Basner says his comfort level and independence grows as he adds more guest speakers. While it remains to be seen if he'll continue the show next school year, at least right now, Kallman is Lake Hood's "sensation".