COLUMBIA-- It's showtime for WPFS-TV!
The teleprompter is loaded, shots are set, and the students are ready for their close-ups.
"They will simply amaze you and take your breath away," said instructor Wendy Furstenburg.
The morning show brings the latest headlines, weather, and announcements to their school each and every day.
But perhaps the most important message they broadcast...is hope. Pendergrass-Fairwold is a school for students with disabilities, but physical or developmental roadblocks do not get in the way of their show.
"We've got Harmony together...Harmony," said anchor Matthew Sims.
Harmony would be an understatement for the anchor team. Marquisha, Matthew, and Relexus have been in the same class since they were 3 years old. They're not just classmates, they're like siblings. But as with any family...
"I hear someone is a little bossy," asked News 19's Lionel Moise.
"Right here- He's the boss man of everything!" laughed Relexus Garrick. "He tells me everything to do. He thinks he's my dad."
"You have those little innuendos with the friendships. They tell each other oh you didn't do so great today, and then they pat each other on the back," said Furstenburg. "And then they encourage each other... It's an awesome relationship."
As for the news, it's falls right in line with any station here in the Midlands. The Gamecocks were the highlight of their show.
They cover the big stories, and they make the big bucks!
For every show, the students are paid ten bear bucks- which they can use as money at the school's store.
"We're working on budgeting and earning money, having a job, signing in," Furstenburg added. "So everything we do in our classroom, they get a salary so to speak."
A salary that maybe is up for negotiation...
"I think I need to get a raise," laughed Sims.
"I'm with you on that one!!!," added Garrick.
Clearly Matthew has the right idea!
A guest class from the school is invited to the show each week and they make sure there is a job for everyone.
"That teaches them that everyone can do something. Not necessarily if you can't talk you can still do something," said media specialist Louise Smith. "If nothing but hold up a sign or touch the big map- everyone can do something. That makes them know I'm worth something, and I can do it."
And they do it well! But a big question to them- How do you do the whole show and not get nervous at all?? They left us one piece of advice.
"Roll your shoulders back," said Sims. "It helps you calm your nerves down."
After you roll your shoulders back... take a close look at their faces, because they plan to be on a TV near you one day!