Henry Puffer Podcast Club participates in Student Advocacy Day at State Capitol

Five students in blue t-shirts standing outside Henry Puffer

The Henry Puffer School Podcast Club heads to Springfield. The Club is participating in Student Advocacy Day in the Illinois Capitol and meets with Senator John Curran and Representative Anne Stava-Murray.

“My heart is beaming with pride for the incredible opportunity,” said Club Sponsor Christine Reynolds and third grade teacher at Henry Puffer. “I am so excited to share what we do here and I am eager to illuminate the hard work happening within our walls.”

Joining Reynolds are student podcasters Jax DiGiacomo, Grade 6; Abby Hiller, Grade 5; Ryan Hiller, Grade 5; Julian Jagai, Grade 5; and Annabelle Broomhead, Grade 5; and Henry Puffer Principal Mark Leipart.

Student Advocacy Day May 9 is an annual event where students and their teachers from across Illinois showcase work they have done throughout the year using technology at the State Capitol.  Students from across Illinois are selected through an application process to present projects that highlight how technology is being used to improve their learning experience. 

The goal is to amplify student and educator voices by demonstrating innovative learning that is happening in schools in Illinois. “It’s an incredible opportunity for students to directly speak to their state representatives,” said Reynolds. “My goal is to ignite a spark of inspiration in fellow educators and students alike, encouraging them to pick up a microphone.”

The club welcomes 3-6 graders and unfortunately has to turn away student applicants each year. Their niche is interviewing those who have made a difference in the community. They’ve interviewed  LA Rams guard and 2015 Downers Grove North (DGN) graduate Dave Edwards; local student Ryan Gustis who is the founder of the Backpack Project; Brad Deel, a dedicated sports photographer; Chris Johnson, owner of the renowned Tivoli; and college athletes Estelle Czech, who plays softball at University of Texas-Austin and graduated from DGN; and Payton Janicki, who plays softball at Wagner College in New York and is a DGN and Puffer graduate. 

The Henry Puffer Podcast Club was started in 2019. The podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Music.