KCRA–50 Bikes for 50 Kids

Published On January 18, 2016 | By Mike Carroll | KCRA-TV, Mike's TV News Stories, Shooting News

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I don’t normally work on Mondays, but this week I’m not only working Tuesday-Saturday, I’m working Monday-Saturday. Six days. But this is the job. As I always tell people, if you want a regular work schedule, don’t get a job in TV news. (And these jobs are hard as hell to get!)

It’s Marting Luther King Jr. Day, so I just assumed that I would be working the big MLK Day parade.

But no.

Instead, I got in at 10:30 a.m., and was assigned a short VO-SOT (Voice Over-Sound On Tape) to shoot quickly and bring back. The type of thing that you can show up to and knock out in 15-20 minutes.

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But once I got to the event and thought it was so cool that I kept on shooting.

I believe I have gained the confidence of the KCRA assignment desk, managers and producers, to say that when I am on a simple story and see the potential to make more out of it, I am given leeway to pursue it.

In this case, I instantly saw a story that I could make one of my reporter-photographer packages out of it.

50 Bikes for 50 Kids

This is the fourth year this event has been put on by the North Natomas Transportation Management Association

Fifty fifth grade students from across Natomas, a community in Sacramento that is just north of downtown, are nominated by teachers, scout leaders, coaches — not because they are in need, but because of their good character — and given new bicycles, which they have to help assemble, and instruction on how to safely ride their new bikes in the streets, and off the sidewalks.

In addition to being MLK Day, it is also National Service Day, and volunteerism was prominent at this event.

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I arrived around 11 a.m. and stayed for about an hour, shot approximately 40-minutes of footage, talking to organizers, students receiving bikes and parents. A very rich and positive story.

And, as I’ve written beforeI love bicycles!

12:45–On leaving the event I called the KCRA assignment desk to tell them what I had and that it would make a terrific package. Got back to the station and the managers and producers were beaming.

“You wanna make it into one of your packages? Go for it.”

The story was slated to run in the Six O’clock News.

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I logged the footage, then started moving sound bites constructing the story.

Sometimes this goes fast and seems to write itself. This time, I couldn’t figure out how to get going. I had the bites–too many bites. But I didn’t have the words of my script coming.

The clock was ticking away. When you are putting a TV news story together that has to be done in three or four hours, you can’t just sit and wait for inspiration. It’s like finding yourself in a dense jungle–you’ve just gotta pull out your machete and start whacking a path out.

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My resolution was to write the best fast draft that I could, then cut down or out entirely whatever I didn’t have time for.

Here I my first draft script to give you an idea.

Story ran on KCRA at 6:25 p.m.

I’m always happy to work any day of the week. But when I see an opportunity to cover something cool and turn the story myself, it’s like a holiday. Which is exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is!!!!

50 Bikes 1st script  2

50 Bikes 1st script  1

CARROLL—Natomas Bicycles 1-18-2016

ANCHOR INTRO:

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY IS ALSO A NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE AND IN NATOMAS TODAY THE NATOMAS TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT BROUGHT TOGETHER VOLUNTEERS FROM THE COMMUNITY FOR 50-BIKES-FOR-50-KIDS. KCRA-3’S MIKE CARROLL SHOWS US HOW, UNLIKE SO MANY OTHER BICYCLE-GIVE-AWAY PROGRAMS, THESE BIKE WERE NOT GIVEN OUT TO STUDENTS IN NEED, BUT AS REWARDS FOR STUDENTS WHO STAND OUT—FOR DOING GOOD DEEDS.

PKG:

00-05     NATOMAS, Sacramento

OPEN: NAT: BUILDING BIKE

Cl 23      15.22     Ethan, come on over, I’m gonna show you something.

TODAY IN NATOMAS, FIFTY BIKES WERE GIVEN AS REWARDS TO FIFTY KIDS.

BECKY HEIECK, 50 Bikes for 50 Kids
Cl 01      0.36      People who nominate them are teachers, scout leaders, coaches—leaders in the community who nominate these kids because of the content of their character. 0.4

AUNIE CARTER, Alaiah’s Grandmother
Cl 11      5.55       Proud grandma. Very proud.

THIS IS THE FOURTH YEAR OF THE 50-BIKES-FOR-50-KIDS PROGRAM, WHERE FIFTY BICYCLES ARE AWARDED TO FIFTY STUDENTS, WHO HAVE BEEN NOMINATED BASED ON THEIR CHARACTER—BEING TRUSTWORTHY, RESPECTFUL, CARING, FAIR, AND GOOD CITIZENS.

ALAIAH ALEXANDER, Natomas Park Elem.
5.25       For helping and being a good student in the classroom.

AUNIE CARTER, Alaiah’s Grandmother
6.38       It’s very helpful. And lets the kids know that they’re very much appreciated for all their hard work

MANY OF THESE STUDENTS ALREADY HAVE BIKES, BUT THEY’RE GROWING FAST AND THEIR OTHER BIKE IS OFTEN TOO SMALL FOR THEM NOW.

AUNIE CARTER, Alaiah’s Grandmother
Cl 11      6.23       She does have a bike. It’s just a little small,

THE BICYCLES COME DISASSEMBLED, PROVIDED FOR THROUGH DONATIONS, THEN THE STUDENTS PUT THEM TOGETHER WITH VOLUNTEERS HELPING.

ADRIANA CARAVEZ,
8.14      It’s fun putting it together.

15.30     Can you tell that the handlebar is hooked a little bit this way?

THIS WAY THE STUDENTS LEARN HOW TO MAINTAIN THE BIKES THEMSELVES.

ADRIANA CARAVEZ, Westlake Charter School
9.37       A lot of my friends have bikes now for Christmas, but now I can join them a ride around. *****

ISABEL VASZUEZ, Adriana’s Mother
Cl 17      11.05     So now she’ll be able to go out and ride with them and we can go on bike rides and take her to the park.
DO YOU HAVE A BICYCLE?
I do not, but now I can probably get one and ride with her.              11.15

Cl 26      16.55     All right! We’re getting you a helmet!

ELLE STEELE, Bicycle Instructor
Cl 31     18.41     We have a really wide variety of skill level here,

MOST OF THESE STUDENTS ARE AROUND TEN-YEARS-OLD, THE AGE WHEN THEY SHOULD START RIDING BICYCLES ON THE STREETS, IN BICYCLE LANES.

KRISTINE & JEFF GALINDO
Cl 39      27.18     Because at 10 technically they’re not encouraged to walk on the sidewalk anymore and so they need to learn the rules of traffic. *****

THE GOAL IS TO TEACH SAFE BIKE RIDING SKILLS. AND TO INSTILL AN APPRECIATION FOR BICYCLES AS A SERIOUS MEANS FOR GETTING AROUND.

ELLE STEELE, Bicycle Instructor
Cl 33         21.43  But it’s flat, the weather is beautiful. It’s perfect. And actually I live in Sacramento without a car. I have two young kids and we get around pretty much all by bike.

KRISTINE & JEFF GALINDO
Cl 39      28.56     It makes you realize how little you need a car. Especially when you live in Natomas.

BECKY HEIECK, 50 Bikes for 50 Kids
Cl 01      1.00       What we hope to do is create a bicycle culture […] and this will create a lifelong love for bicycles.

IN NATOMAS, I’M MIKE CARROLL, KCRA-3 NEWS

 

 

 

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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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