The student news site of Downers Grove North High School

DGN Omega

The student news site of Downers Grove North High School

DGN Omega

The student news site of Downers Grove North High School

DGN Omega

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Henry Puffer Podcast Club: a platform for young voices

Audrey Gorey
UNDER THE SEA: Henry Puffer Podcast Club interviews DGN’s cast of the Little Mermaid Musical.

A group of third through sixth grade students at Henry Puffer Elementary school are bringing their voices to the table through The Henry Puffer Podcast, available on Spotify and Apple Music. This club, created by third grade teacher Christine Reynolds, is away for young students to exercise eloquence, conversational abilities, and meet new people.


“I thought that instead of only teaching out of boring textbooks, it would be amazing to find a way to have somebody come in here from our community to talk about how they give back to society, how they make a contribution,” Reynolds said. My instructional coach got me a microphone, I had an iPad, and we contacted someone in the district. That’s how it started, and it’s grown ever since.”


What began as just an idea has grown into a successful podcast that has hosted countless guests from the surrounding community since 2019. “We even made it through COVID-19, where we just switched automatically to Zoom. It was great because we still had that connection to school, so the kids still felt they were a part of some- thing in such a tragic time, where they got ripped out of school, they got ripped away from me, I got ripped away from them,” Reynolds said. “Podcast Club was the one thing that these still kids had. It was a learning curve, like it was for everybody.”


Lasting throughout difficult times, the podcast has remained strong and taught important life skills.


“What I love about podcasts is that it’s all about self confidence and the ability to speak to adults and look them in the eye, which some kids are shy to do,” fifth grade student Abby Hiller said.


The older kids in the club take the lead and discuss who to interview based on what is currently going on. They devote time to conduct background research and create meaningful questions.


“We think of prompts and then make a script, which Mrs. Reynolds edits,” fifth grade student Zoe Chrisos said. “But we
also do our best to go off script a little, like coming up with questions by ourselves and adding things to the conversation.”


Reynolds’ main goal is for her students to become confident in the art of conversation through the podcast.


“I used to be really shy but this club has changed that,” fifth grade student Julian Jagai said.


Reynolds and a few Podcast Club members presented at Schaumburg’s Idea Con Feb. 20.


“I explained who we are, why we are, and why we’re here, but any questions I directed to the kids,” Reynolds said. “The kids were thrown into an adult setting, and they stepped up to the plate. It’s really their club, and I’m just here for the ride.”


The Henry Puffer Podcast has hosted LA Rams guard and 2015 DGN graduate Dave Edwards, collegiate athletes, DGN sports teams and musical members, and many more exciting guests. “We want to bring awareness and celebrate our high school because eventually Puffer feeds into DGN,” Reynolds said. “Not necessarily does it have to be


DGN, because we do love bringing in other communities.” Podcast Club also provides its members with an opportunity to talk to prominent figures and role models. Hiller, a softball player, listens to the podcast episode with collegiate softball players before her games.


“As a softball player myself, I really enjoyed talking to Estelle Czech especially since she is a pitcher and I’m a pitcher. She gave great mental and physical advice and I look forward to listenng to that podcast before I play. She was by far my favorite of all the podcasts I’ve ever done,” Hiller said.


In a digital age where kids converse mainly through texting or DM, this club encourages kids to become better communicators.


“Of course you have a couple of them that are naturally like, give me that microphone, and I’m going to shine immediately, but we also have kids who have grown so much. It’s giving them that platform to be able to say what they want to say. They get so excited when that lightbulb goes off,” Reynolds said.

SCAN HERE: To find The Henry Puffer Podcast Spotify page.
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About the Contributor
Audrey Gorey
Audrey Gorey, Editor in Chief
It’s Senior Audrey Gorey’s first year on Omega Staff, and she’s coming in strong as Print Editor in Chief. When she’s not busy writing for the best student newspaper, you can find her in a constant state of online shopping or flipping through fashion magazines. Don’t hesitate to reach her at @[email protected] to talk about Taylor Swift, iced coffee orders, and anything in between.

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