D.C.

Eliot-Hine Middle School radio show interviews D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray got grilled on a radio show by an unusual batch of reporters - sixth graders.

Eliot-Hine Middle School launched a "live" radio talk show this past fall. Mayor Gray was their featured guest Tuesday, and they take their job very seriously.

"Welcome to Eliot-Hine Radio on Live365. I'm your host Jayme. And I'm your co-host Tatyanna," the 11-year-olds said at the top of their show.

And the girls know what matters in the District. They spent 30 minutes Tuesday firing off questions at Mayor Gray on a number of hot topics.

"Our show topic is the importance of a quality education," said Jayme Mims.

The entire production crew is made up of sixth graders.

Board Operator Isiah Dorsey said, "It's not easy to tell you that."

"Scary!," exclaimed Mims.

But she handled it like a pro with her broadcast media teacher, Mandrell Birks, coaching her along the way.

"We're just trying to knock it out the park," said Birks.

Birks knows a thing or two about radio. When he's not in the classroom, he's behind the mic for his own show on Sirius XM and 96.3.

Birks added, "I can actually set some material out on a table, show prep sheets, biographies...they know I have a certain level that I want them to reach or we have to do it over and over and over."

After all, they're impressing a lot of big names.

"The kids have interviewed Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Josh Morgan from the Washington Redskins, Leon Harris," Birks recalled.

A grant called "Proving What's Possible" makes the class possible. Ten million dollars are spread across the District's lowest preforming schools in hopes of spurring innovation.

Gray's appearance may be putting them further on the path to success.

"He taught us that as long as you don't turn the wrong way, you will always find your way through in life," Mims said.

The students had their first live broadcast during the presidential inauguration in Jan. Now their teacher is campaigning hard to get the president and first lady as guests.

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