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Sunday, 2 December 2018

SLAM RADIO MAKING HISTORY!




December 3rd 2018 sees the Sports Leadership And Management School (SLAM) Miami embark on making radio history and changing the game in education and the way in which students are prepared for careers in the sports media industry with the launch of SLAM Talk Radio.

The cutting edge school will be the first high school to launch a national radio station in partnership with SiriusXM on channel 145. A professional radio station that will be produced and presented by high school students at SLAM and on air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and aims to reach a wider audience outside of students spanning from an age range of 18 to 80.  Sports, entertainment and journalism will be at the heart of its core focus. With Pitbull making history with the school as Co-Founder and Ambassador for SLAM, the radio station and its alliance with SiriusXM will be the first to give a practical and first-hand learning experience of running a radio station with this innovative program. With plans to expand to other SLAM schools across the country.

Students at SLAM are excited to be the trailblazers, pave the way and be the first to produce and present a national radio station. “Being a part of this project is an honor. I am very excited to see what new doors and opportunities SLAM Radio will bring. I transferred schools after my sophomore year to lead this project on a student level. As Student Station General Manager, I’ve had a chance to work with other students and take on a leadership role. Our students at SLAM are excited and are ready for history!” –Amanda Milian, SLAM Radio Student Station General Manager 

As the Sports Broadcasting Teacher at the school and the Program Director of SLAM Talk Radio,
Larry “The Amigo” Milian, will also be hosting his very own Morning Show on SLAM Talk Radio. “The Amigo” is not only the teacher, but also the mentor and coach who is currently preparing students in the run up to this pioneering moment in radio history and will oversee the running of the station on a day to day basis.

Larry Milian is no stranger to media let alone being a part of making history. Larry Milian was one part duo of the ‘Dos Amigos Show’ which was the first Spanglish sports talk show in the USA. Students at SLAM Talk Radio couldn’t be in better hands with this ‘Amigo’.
From Producer/Production Coordinator/Host of Generation Ñ Media, Senior
Writer StateOfTheU.com (SB Nation), Radio Talk Show host at 940 WINZ, 640 WFTL Sports, Sports Talk 790 The Ticket to CEO/Director of Operations at Fast Action Sports (Florida) to name but a few milestones in the career of Larry Milian, who will bring an amplitude of knowledge, skills, experience and wisdom from his career in the sports media industry. Larry Milian talks in more depth about SLAM Talk Radio and how the programming will be produced, his very own Morning Show, the process of building up to the launch and of course Pitbull and much more in an exclusive interview below.


Radio to teaching at a school. Talk to me Larry, how did the journey lead you to SLAM School?
Crazy journey indeed. The opportunity to see our radio students at SLAM get excited for our launch that makes all of this worthwhile. While I never expected to be in the classroom, the truth is getting to know our amazing students has been the best part of this journey. Makes me feel like Coach Nick Saban recruiting top college football prospects for their national championship program. The truth is these young adults want to be a part of something special.

Exciting times, who is going to do the programming?
It’s an interesting dynamic, the original press release said the Juniors and Seniors here at SLAM will be doing the programming. We have expanded that role so it’s going to be the High School students at SLAM that are part of this group and are going to create the majority of the content. In recent weeks we have also created an elite group of future eighth graders which are one year away from getting to high school and start training them ahead of time so when they get into high school they are more ready to be on the air and create the evergreen content.

A lot of the content is pre-recorded, the only Live show will be mine in the morning. The rest will be content produced and created by the students.

Just going back on evergreen content – For those that aren’t familiar with the term could you explain a little about what this is?
Evergreen means it doesn’t have an expiration date. So not going to be topical to the game that was played yesterday for example but it will be content based. So if it’s a story that happened in the past or relevant to something that has to do with a sport or a topic within a sport it doesn’t have an expiration date where it needs to be aired by a certain time.

How does it work, will the students get to pick the topics for the show?
With my approval as the Program Director of the station, I have the final say with what goes on.

What kind of programming can listeners expect?
We want the content to be appropriate, fitting and appeal to the masses so it’s not just student radio. We’re hoping to tackle issues that are common to the sports fan but we will also delve into entertainment and we will have Live DJ’s mixers from time to time on the weekends. More importantly we will be creating content for anyone between the ages of 18 to 80.

Touching on entertainment, can you tell us a bit more on this area?
Granted, it’s a sports school and feature speciality sports such as football and baseball. But we will also talk about movies for example. We are also going to delve into music, especially at the weekends. We have several DJ’s here at SLAM that are going to make themselves a part of the radio station so on the weekends you may have “You’re listening to the mix of DJ(?)”

Interesting! So not the typical sports show. Sounds like a lot of programme expansion coming up. How far in advance will the programmes be prepared? 
We’re going to have weekly meetings in classes which will help come up with ideas to create evergreen content.

My morning show isn’t evergreen and we will talk Live about the shows that were played last night but tomorrow we can’t talk about the games played last night so there’s a huge difference.

The evergreen content will help us be able to replace some programming. 168 hours a week is a lot of time. Professionals have a hard time filling that time so when you’re talking about students we’re going to have a challenge on our hands. 

But certainly they are also going to be creating content that does have an expiration date and for that we are going to meet once or twice a week about how we create that content and my very best will be able to do that on a weekly basis and create the more relevant programming that will be on the station aside from the morning show and then the evergreen content the things you may have done last week we can play it over the next few weeks. 

Some students are already thinking of doing a series of programmes relevant to what their show content is about. They want to do features on players in soccer for example, the feature today will be Ronaldo Cristiano and next week will feature Lionel Messi. While others will be interview based so they will go out and find people in an industry that they want to cover and do interviews. All these will be pre-recorded. 

We’re excited as it’s going to be a mix of Live programming, music and more. Our goal is also to not make it not sound like ‘student radio’ and that people are listening to this and enjoying what they are listening to.

Talk me through what is happening right now Larry, where are we currently in the process of launching?
Construction is completed of our state of the art studio. Not just recording booths and rooms for some of the evergreen content but we’re also going to have a main studio where I’m going to be doing my Live show.

Far as community involvement, part of my job is to get out into the community and spread the message about what we are doing at Slam Talk Radio. There are currently over 100 students matriculated in Radio classes.

My day can get very intense. I start early as 6:30 in the morning and can be here late as 9-10pm at night. There’s a lot of work to be done as we get ready to embark on making history. 

This is radio history! Let’s call it like we see it. I’ve worked in the business for years and radio is an amazing medium to communicate.  Some people may deem it as ‘old school’, but radio has had a ‘re-birth’ in my opinion, because of the video element in it. I’m just excited about how we’re embarking on this journey into history, being that we’re a high school and were going to have a national radio platform. 


The students are also going to be involved in creating their own content that’s pre-recorded and that’s an amazing element as well. They’re not going to sit in a room and watch me do a Live show. They are going to get involved in the creation of that show. Doing the research necessary.


Seems like it’s a REALLY hands-on process Larry
It’s very hands on. Another element we are going to be using that has never been done on sports radio is a Live DJ. So we’re going to not only have DJ on the weekends and play on the weekends. 

Sports shows generally come back from their break play a song and end it out in 15 seconds and then they go into their content.

Sounds like a great platform and opportunity for the up and coming DJ’s within the school too
Absolutely. They will also get the opportunity during their morning show to create 6-8 minute mixes before we get into the content. So the listener will have the opportunity to dance a little bit, hear a little spot, go to break, come back and get some more mixes. 

It’s very unique. It’s very ‘Pitbullish’ It’s got that Pitbull flair to it and I know that when I spoke to Pitbull about it he absolutely loved the idea because it’s unique. It’s different and it has our SLAM stamp to it. We’re excited about how it’s going to come about.


Tell me more about your Morning Show on Slam Talk Radio. For someone who has never heard any of your shows or aware of your style - How would you describe what your part will bring to Slam Talk Radio
My show will be a good eclectic mix of sports and entertainment. It’s when a DJ Laz Morning Show marries a sports show like The Dan LeBatard Show. 

If you marry those two together and you create the hybrid nature of both of those shows, unite them you get my show. I don’t pretend to be DJ Laz or Dan LeBatard but there’s going to be elements I get from both of them who have served as mentors in my radio career and I’m very excited about putting that into play.

I think they will be proud in knowing they had an influence on making this historic journey possible. My show will be heavy sports but entertainment will play a big role in it. I plan on having guests on the show and with the help of Mr 305, Mr Worldwide himself I’m sure he will come on from time to time with us but tap into some of his friends to join us in the studio or over the phone and that’s what we‘re really excited about. Having guests on the show that are going to be a part of our program whether it’s Marc Antony or Derek Jeter. Whoever it is, we really plan on making this a wide open platform for the entertainment world as well as the sports world.

Would others outside the USA be able to listen to Slam Talk Radio, from the UK for example?
Of course, if you have Sirius XM. We’ll have you listen - we’ll have you on the show!

Wow, thank you it would be an honour Larry
We want to keep the content as fresh and as entertaining as possible and if you’re in the car and listening to the station it could be something that would captivate you and you would listen. That’s also where my challenge comes in. Fresh as in content and fresh in how we deliver the content.

Your Morning Show - will it be the only interactive show on the station?
Definitely my morning show program will be interactive and Live from 7am-12pm ET. We will have open lines, people calling into the show, interviews on air over the phone. 

In the beginning we are going to make sure we concentrate on our content and delivering this content the best way possible and doing that will require more of a podcast and pre-recorded form. If there are students identified that are excellent I will consider creating a Live show for them but in the beginning it will be monitored closely and make sure it sounds right. 

You briefly mentioned challenges about keeping content fresh and how SLAM Talk Radio deliver the content as one of the challenges. Are there any other challenges you currently face or foresee in the future?
There has never been a high school with a national radio platform, so it’s a tall task to take on and teach 15-16 year olds to create content that is going to be listenable on a radio station. That’s quite a challenge. My show will go 5 hours and having been on radio for many years, the students will get the ability to work behind the scenes of a true national syndicated morning show and know the ins and outs of what you need to do to prepare for a show on a daily basis. That’s a great experience for them.


Our challenge is also that it’s 168 hours of programming. 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I have my 5 hour show and we will have the best of that the students will edit and get to read for the evening play. For the most part they need to create content, show and long form that will be adequate for Slam Talk Radio.

My biggest challenge in all of this is making it sound like a professional radio station that is being controlled and run by professionals.  The challenge there is that I have young students we have to train, cross train and prepare well. Some of the exercises that we are going to do over the summer should begin that preparation process. Experience comes with practice.

As they prepare, start practicing and creating this evergreen content which will get better and better and from there pick who the best of the best are and consider Live programming with them a well. But for now they will be pre-recorded. 

Because we do that it makes it easier to replace programming. I know a few students that will be creating programming on a weekly basis. We have an entertainment show that will be a pre-recorded podcast by students that will come on once a week on the radio station.


What are you looking forward to the most? 
I have really made this all about the students. They warm my heart, they’re interesting, they’re dynamic. It is unique. It can be a little frustrating sometimes because there is an age difference but I get to their level as I am young at heart so I understand them better and can relate to them more than most teachers do. I relate to them. I listen to their music and watch the same shows because I swear sometimes I’m a teenager (both laugh).

Even though as a career radio guy there is a first in all of this for me. That this that it is the first time I will have a nationally syndicated broadcast on air. I’ve always been a local radio host. So the fact that i will be heard all over the country and world is exciting and nerve wrecking all at once. Demanding as well the demands of being a Program Director of Slam Talk Radio and making this station work as well as create content for 5 hours a day. 

I owe that dynamic to Pitbull, he’s the one who really showed me this could be much more fulfilling on that side than anything that I do on the air so I’m going to have one of the best radio shows in the country but that’s because I’m confident and I have done this before and I know I can be entertaining, funny and quirky, unique and opinionated but to see them do this and be inspired by my work and be inspired by what I have taught them and then watch their young energy just come out on the microphone.

We haven’t even talked about the video element and side projects on the radio and watch that all come together and be able to stand like a proud dad and know that I helped make this happen. This is radio history. This is going to be my legacy in this business.

Pitbull also has the tag ‘Mr Education’ too! I have to throw in and ask, what is your favourite Pitbull song?
There are so many to choose from, but two of my favorite songs are “On the Floor” with JLo and “Rain Over Me” with Marc Anthony. Aside from Pitbull, they are my two favorite music artists.
   
Thank again so much for taking the time for sharing more with all of us about this exciting time and history in the making.  I’m really looking forward to the launch of Slam Talk Radio and excited for you, the students, the listeners the radio industry that’s been hit with something new and innovative by SLAM

My Pleasure!


SLAM RADIO XM
SiriusXM Channel 145

Good Morning Amigo Show Weekdays 7am


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Photo Credits: Larry Milian & Slam Radio XM









Friday, 26 October 2018

QUIERO SABER


Quiero Saber are you feeling the latest release from Pitbull?

It might be the month of Halloween but no tricks only a treat for fans as Pitbull gave a debut performance of his latest hit ‘Queiro Saber’ at the Latin American Awards Last night. Linking up with another Fast and Furious connection Ludacris and also Prince Royce. The trio bring us a slower, addictive, smoother jam.

Armando Bond is all about MAKING history and as he suggests also on this track, maybe a little ‘rewriting history’ as we see Mr Worldwide bring back Usher’s (or as Pitbull calls him "URRRSHEERRR-OOSHER-FUTURE" in Party Ain’t Over) samplers of the hit Lovers and Friends. Bringing back a little Uncle Luke with a don’t stop gettit gettit and getting’ Live off that Voli 305 his own vodka of course.

A smooth, sexy, Spanglish R’n’B vibe – Even Ludacris speaks Spanish with a “Si Seniorita” . That’s the beauty of the song. You don’t need to know the language to enjoy it. As usual Pitbull ‘Puts the Spanish in you’ with any crossover song.



Saturday, 25 August 2018

London Gets A Piece Of BritBull




‘London’s burning, London’s burning, fetch the engine’ as the nursery rhyme goes - but please don’t put out this 'fireball' who’s just rolled into town! The Miami boy in London gets off the chain right from the start. 

As Pitbull opens up for Britney Spears for the Piece Of Me tour on the first of three nights at London’s O2 the crowd seem a little possessed as I take moment to look around.

As a fan who went to Pitbull's very first London concert in 2008 just across the road Indigo O2 which is a smaller, intimate venue to jumping to the stage over the road to the O2 it’s been an amazing journey to watch the in between years and growth since.

The introductory backdrop before Pitbull hit the stage at 7:30pm was a large screen narrated by Tony Robbins with whom Pitbull will be touring with on Unleash The Power Within 2019 as a speaker. Tony describes how Pitbull is making history, making something out of nothing, taking his life from negative to positive, a successful artist all over the world and other characteristics and achievements with impactful messages about Pitbull which flash up on screen such as the words entrepreneur, visionary, motivational speaker, businessman and educator. You could say that Tony Robbins is subliminally educating the those in the audience that may not know many other things about him.



As The Most Bad Ones make their sultry way onto stage with a sampler of Pretty Woman (a suitable sample for these talented stunners) Pitbull joins the baddies and opens up with Don’t Stop The Party and that was it, the energy in the O2 lifted to a higher level. 


DJ Chino keeping the tunes spinning, signature fist pumps in the air while the best dancers in the business- yes THE best dancers in the business I say without any hesitation, The Most Bad Ones kept their booty’s and the bootys of everyone else in the crowd moving through the whole show.


As Pitbull continues to please with a medley of hits greeted with more roars of approval and sing-alongs in the crowd as Mr Worldwide delighted with popular global hits like Hotel Room, Feel This Moment, Timber, On The Floor, Calle Ocho, I Like It, and DJ Got Us Falling In Love.

Pitbull thanks London, the fans and Britney and her team for allowing him to share this experience. I'm convinced Pitbull came out with more fans than he went into the O2 with not only through his music, energy and positive snippets in between songs but Mr Worldwide clearly 'gelled' and created a common feeling of rapport with the primarily Britney fans by acknowledging the princess of pop which was greeted with many cheers, roars in between the silences as the crowd listened quietly and attentively as Mr Worldwide spoke to the audience.


Pitbull said "I'm a big fan of Britney not with what she's done with her career but what she has gone through with her career. They're talking about somebody they dragged all the way down and they wiped the floor with her and she came back bigger, better, badder, stronger. If there's anything I love and I respect, that's an underdog- 'cos I'm an underdog, we're underdogs...." and continued praising Britney's fight and what life is about.
Thank you Pitbull, The Most Bad Ones, Chino and Britney for a mesmerising show. Being a fan and admirer of Pitbull and Britney Spears from the beginning of their career it was a real treat to have them in the same show together. Feeling a little spoilt, but as Pitbull may say "I luurve dat"

No sooner has Mr Worldwide checked into Hotel 305 on stage and then checked out, we just can't get enough. So it's dale for now as Mr Worldwide imparts more wisdom to the audience 
"Don't let the phone take over your life, you take over the phone. Don't take so many pictures that you miss the big picture. Enjoy life..." Then soon after it's time for Britney, bitch!

Check out the video below ( including Pitbull's tribute to Britney) and more


Thank you, enjoy and dale!


















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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

FREE FREE FREE VIDEO FT THERON THERON


They say all good times come to an end. This is not entirely true! Although no Pitbull Cruise 2019 yet (I’m being optimistic!) watching the Pitbull Free Free Free video featuring Theron Theron conjures up a strong whiff of nostalgia and wonderful memories of the 2017 and 2018 Pitbull Cruises. Thanks to Greg Watermann, who directed the video and encapsulates the energy and experience of the ‘Time Of Our Lives’ by Pitbull fans from around the world to just be FREE FREE FREE.

From pulling out the calms seas of the Port of Miami, "taking it from Miami, the pineapple" with Pitbull talking about how when he was young and looked at the cruise ships and say “ One day I wanna be able to get on a cruise” to going onto what a blessing and how his father used to bring boats over in El Mariel and to now be a Godfather to his own cruise ship. Inspiring others by going onto say that you can do anything you want to do in life.

To getting straight into the mother of all parties. From the dazzling concerts, meet and greets, Voli 305 Vodka girls, Pitbull getting chatty and working the crowds, hanging with the kids in the play areas, a hug with a dinosaur, The Most Bad Ones Dance Boot Camps, jumping crazy to see an Uncle Luke Hat in the crowd, to Abuela 305 with Mr Worldwide and a snippet of Pitbull autographing a $50 note and giving it to a young boy in the crowd after a motivational talk and much more.

I want to say a very special thanks for the Rockstar photographer himself the wonderful Greg Watermann for capturing and featuring our ‘selfie of a selfie’ in the video too and other shots I creeped into.

From a personal perspective, the video just makes smile throughout with amazing memories. Fans love of Pitbull spills over to many of his team and Greg Watermann too is very special to us. 

The gift that all Greg Watermann images and videos bring, is bringing these moments to LIFE. That is the beauty and magic of the Rockstar Photographer's work. To see, feel and absorb the moment and smile all the way throughout the video. Then hit play again, and again! Whether you were physically on the ship or not. Greg made it possible for all fans united to feel like we were altogether in these moments.

A summer anthem with a touch of soca, definitely 'feeling free, free free'. With a twist of the Merrymen sampler Feeling Hot Hot Hot, The song gives a feeling of freedom and an escapism from the norm where we can catch Pitbull 'on the top deck - no roof'. Agreed no one is ready to go home from the cruise Pitbull - Pitbull Cruise 2019 Mr Worldwide?



WATCH


MORE PHOTOS
(Kept the youtube times on purpose fans! So you can find yourselves!)
 















Sunday, 22 April 2018

PITBULL MOTIVATIONAL TALK AT TONY ROBBINS UNLEASH THE POWER - LONDON 2018

There was a Pitbull 'unleashed' in London last night! 

Pitbull dazzled the crowd at Excel London at the Tony Robbin’s Unleash The Power Within in more ways than one.

Firstly, Mr Worldwide got the energy in the room even higher with sizzling performances of Echa Pa’lla, Fireball, Don’t Stop The Party and of course showing how he took his life from negative to positive with Give Me Everything.

Secondly, Pitbull gave a powerful motivational talk full of Pitbull wisdom nuggets we as fans know and love to hear and be reminded again and again with the story of how his mum slapped his hand as Pitbull tried to switch off Tony Robbins in his mums car radio. To taking short steps but having that long vision in business and life.
The biggest risk you take is not taking one, the music business and entrepreneurship within and how other players play and how he sets himself apart to get ahead and take over the game. That Instant gratification doesn’t exist! History and journey of hustling in the streets to becoming an international music star and entrepreneur. Legacy - Sports Leadership And Management schools (SLAM) and with that how money doesn’t make you happy it’s what you do with it that does and giving back isn't a responsibility, it’s an obligation. 

Pitbull says he is NOT a celebrity, but a hard worker. Straight out of the mouth of Mr Humble Worldwide. How failure is the mother of all success. These are only a few inspirational food for thoughts to educate the mind and spirit. The harder Pitbull works the luckier he gets. A gifted way with words that deliver the message with a sharp punch and leaving footprints behind after the spoken words.

Thirdly, also one of THE most impressive points is that Pitbull was surrounded by a crowd that was not from the ‘usual’ Pitbull fandom who already knew what he was about and start cheering even before Mr Worldwide had even stepped onto the stage. We know that Pitbull knows how to move in a room full of wolves as the lyrics go, yet being first hand amongst quite possibly a predominantly non hardcore, die hard 'Pitbull fan' audience, I could observe how he moves and works a room like this from the stage and to give a powerful motivational talk that moved this crowd with his life story, wisdom, inspiration and being received by a new ‘market’ if you like, with cheers and applauses and roars of approval from the crowd. That was impressive. Charismatic Chico Pitbull is worldwide and audience-wide with the gift to gel and engage anyone and he talks A LOT of sense and lessons to take on board long after the talk has finished.

Without giving too much away, check out the videos below. Beginning with Tony Robbins introducing his good friend. Which is a good sign, especially as the young Armando couldn’t wait to switch Tony off in his mum’s car!
























Tuesday, 10 April 2018

BACK TO SCHOOL: SLAM MIAMI

Athletic and physical based programs are not the sole focus of SLAM (Sports Leadership and Management School) in Miami.  I soon discovered there is so much more to their range of academic programs and courses available to students and equip them with the knowledge and skills for a range of careers within the Sports Leadership and Management industry. Amongst the core curriculum of science, Language Arts, Mathematics and Social Studies the ground breaking school also offers Broadcasting in the form of Digital Television and Sports Media Production, Sports Medicine, Sports Marketing, Entertainment and Management.

Upon approaching the new building, the first thing I noticed was the arresting enclosed walkway bridge linking the top of the main SLAM 1 and SLAM 2 buildings with the school’s distinguished, attention grabbing and striking red logo.

Inside, the dinner hall is packed with excited students as school starts very early.  I can only describe as being overcome with a pleasantly surprised and reassuring feeling to realise that the younger students who start at 7:30am are also provided with a free breakfast and students are taken care of beyond just educational responsibilities by SLAM. The atmosphere is always positive, upbeat and driven from the moment I step into the school each time with smiling and welcoming faces of not only the students but also the teachers and staff alike with the utmost professionalism, approachable and friendly manner who have a  wealth of knowledge and skills to share and pass onto students of SLAM.

A school which is currently passing students at 95% as Pitbull highlighted on his second annual Pitbull Cruise. With the aim of getting it to 100% pass rate through the innovative program provided at SLAM.

It was a great opportunity to experience some of these valuable classes as an older overseas student but before we get to class I had to check out the main building again and say hello to some friendly faces and visit the brand new building SLAM 2 across the road.

Having seen the site almost exactly a year ago as a building site with construction in progress, it was astonishing to see how the new SLAM 2 building has come along since. With some areas still in progress inside.

First stopping by at the cafeteria area and briefly popping into a Sports Marketing class run by teacher Mrs Capdevila.

Onwards to visit the huge basketball court / gymnasium and the weights room where the Slam Titans train. The huge room where the Slam Talk Radio Studios will be homed in SLAM 2 was the next stop. Still to be equipped, it was a great moment and honour to be able to visit the space with a beautiful Miami skyline through the large windows which I can only imagine would look great as a backdrop. It is exciting to see how the partnership with SLAM Talk Radio and SiriusXM develops and the recently announced alliance with Telemundo.

Moving upwards towards the walkway seen from the outside. But not before taking a glance to the left before stepping foot on the bridge where the corner of my eye catches a very young Armando Christian Perez in a basketball team photograph.

Walking over the short walkway bridge was an unforgettable moment with the two giant SLAM logos beaming outwards on both sides. To walk from SLAM 2 back over to SLAM 1 where we are met by the gym area nearby  (I was a little disorientated on arriving at the other side just for a moment but that’s OK, I heard Pitbull did the same)  

SLAM Building 2 wasn’t where it ended. The school is simply growing and SLAM Building 3 is also in the making for sixth graders.

After the tour of the new building it was time to do some work and get to class.



Sports Broadcasting

First stop, the class of Mr Larry Milian. The Sports Broadcasting Teacher, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach and Middle School Basketball Head Coach. Larry ‘The Amigo’ Milian, a long time radio personality was also part of another moment in media history as one half of the ‘The Dos Amigos Show’ which was USA’s first Spanglish sports talk show. Now a Teacher at SLAM, Mr Milian has a very positive impact on the younger generation as students steal the title off Michael Jordan ‘The GOAT- Greatest Of All Time’ and hand it to Mr Milian.

Upon walking into his classroom the first time I couldn’t help but light up at Mr Milian’s Quote Wall that went viral on social media when Pitbull made a surprise visit only three days before. A video which featured this famous Quote Wall with motivational and inspirational quotes. Many from Pitbull and other greats in the world. Mr Milian takes us through the Quote Wall in more detail in the video below on what it is and what his personal favourite quotes are, one of which is to ‘Win The Day’ (Navy Seal quote). A quote which has become a large part of what they embody at SLAM Talk Radio in particular. Mr Milian goes to explain that if students are the best version of themselves that day then they will ‘win’ that day and do something positive each day which at the end of they can look back and say that it was an accomplishment. Something they have never done before and put the students in a positive mind-set.


The Quote Wall wasn’t the only highlight in the room as Mr Milian also has a Thanks Giving Wall where students post notes on what they are thankful for. In particular, messages of gratitude towards Mr Milian and stories of how Mr Milian has helped them seems to be a prominent theme. There is also folder filled with letters written to Mr Milian. I’m touched upon reading these letters and posts of appreciation towards a teacher. SLAM are very fortunate to have a teacher with an abundance of knowledge, skills, experience and genuine care and attention for the education of students.

With all the positivity and gratitude emanating from the walls, a folder of letters to Mr Milian to the countless students popping by just to say hello, hi, hug, goodbye to Mr Milian during my time spent it was clearly visible that Mr Milian is a very much loved and respected teacher.

With motivation and inspiration flowing through the class and an encouraging influence on the students, Mr Milian’s teaching style and approach relates to the students in a unique way. Mr Milian - everyone’s, teacher, mentor, motivator and even ‘school-parent’ that students easily seem to relate to and gravitate towards. Truly a remarkable teacher inside the classroom and outside, as I followed him into the dinner hall a few times to rev up students for the ‘tail-gate’ (another term I learnt) and get the students rowdy and excited about an upcoming SLAM Titans Basketball match, the team who made the regional finals and if won the following day would have taken them to the State Finals.

SLAM will be launching Slam Talk Radio on SiriusXM in the fall of 2018 where for the first time in radio history a school will launch a radio station that will produce national programming with the focus on sport, entertainment and journalism which is run and produced by students. As the Sports Broadcasting Teacher with a wealth of experience and knowledge, Mr Milian is currently preparing students for this ground breaking journey.

Watching a pre-recorded podcast of students in preparation of SLAM Talk Radio, it was very exciting and impressive to see what is to come on the radio show where the students in training  are visibly confident, professional with strong presentation skills. Trained and coached by Mr Milian. The team that are about to make radio history in the fall of 2018.

In another exercise, students were exposed to a press conference setting in Mr Milian’s class. Where students were able to gain insight into the structure of this particular media environment first hand and gain experience asking questions. Students were the press and Mr Milian the person of interest about his career and SLAM Talk Radio. The calibre of questions, the delivery and manner in which they were asked along with the attention and engagement of the students was outstanding.


Mathematics

For those that know me, know that me enjoying a maths class (yes maths, I’m British!) doesn’t ‘add’ up. Let alone ask to be in one voluntarily. I prefer the Pitbull approach of “Taking my letters and making them numbers” For a long time however, I have been following Mathematics Teacher Mr Rivera’s inspirational videos, quotes and snippets of his teachings in class, style and how Mr Rivera makes maths so interesting and relate to everyday situations to deliver the message and help students understand. I was compelled to ask Mr Rivera if I could sit in his class.

Mr Rivera’s lesson starts even before his class does when you will find Mr Rivera standing outside his class during class switch overs in the corridor holding his quote on the board “The Old You And The New You Cannot Co-Exist, Eliminate One!” A tough, chilling, perhaps shocking reminder to make a choice and take action. Either way, very impactful. To recognise and decide which one you want to be. Inside the classroom, motivational quotes on and around the whiteboard and walls. Plenty of thought provoking words and phrases within. In addition to these inspirational quotes Mr Rivera has a Sports Vocabulary Drawing Wall (see video below) where students are given a math topic and assigned to draw a picture and make that math topic relate to sport (See video of student Juan Garcia below) 

Mr Rivera incorporates mathematics, sports and real life examples that apply to the student age group which is what makes the experience of being in his class so phenomenal. The ability to relate and deliver certain topics such as fractions, volume, parameters of a pentagon pyramid to a real life situation in an engaging and comfortable manner is captivating. In my personal experience, an unprecedented teacher that can make maths fun and understandable with a gift to relate to students and connect with mutual respect.

Being also a Motivational Keynote Speaker, Mr Rivera brings in other aspects into his teaching methods to help build confidence and rapport skills. For example, students often walk up to the main white board to explain a math problem. If a student is too fixed on memorising and repeating what they have heard, Mr Rivera encourages students to focus on talking about what they do know and understand about the problem foremost. Letting that be the lead to how they explain the problem to the rest of the class. With the emphasis on  “getting students to understand more than focus on how to release and explain the math they have learnt. If you understand the reasoning you don’t have to memorise things” says Mr Rivera.

Mr Rivera also encourages the students speaking to the class to slow down, pause and process slowly. To talk slower and draw in the attention of fellow students. Little nuggets of wisdom and techniques on getting individuals to listen and obtain engagement when speaking.

Another unusual and fun technique I found was how Mr Rivera put a math problem on the board and the students all had their own mini white boards and pens to work out the problem on. Rather than the traditional pen and paper which was very different and could see the students clearly enjoying it.

It may be a maths class but apart from the related examples, there was still an additional sports discipline element. A sense of respect between students and teachers. When Mr Rivera raises his hand, that is an indication to pay attention and be silent. The students in turn raise their hand to indicate they have received the message and stop talking or doing what they were. I found myself doing it too. Those that didn’t pay attention at the time automatically drop to the side of the class and give a few press ups (bringing in the sports discipline part). It is a Sports Leadership and Management School after all!

Mr Rivera’s classes continue to challenge students minds, and mine too. as he draws a shape on the board and asks the class what it is. All say square. Mr Rivera challenges the thought process behind the shape and tells the class it is not a square. Even I’m saying it’s a square at this point and wondering where the teacher is going with this. “What makes you think it’s a square?” as he adds the dimensions of 5cm horizontal and 15cm vertical to the shape. Making it a rectangle. Message behind it is to ask for more details and get enough information for a problem. Very interesting.

Mr Rivera also threw me out of my comfort zone to get up and talk to the students about me, British media and more. It became an open floor to ask anything and everything.  I was here because I was interested in the students and their school. Never for a minute did it occur to me that they would be interested in me and so I find myself standing at the front of the class taking questions with no bars held.


Broadcasting

It soon became apparent that no teacher wears just the ‘one hat’ at SLAM and the Head Volleyball Coach Mr Daniel Benitez is also a Broadcasting teacher at the school.

Each morning the students make announcements about the school which are heard through all three buildings SLAM 1 the main building to SLAM 2 and SLAM 3. It is the ninth graders who take control and work on the basics to bring this daily broadcast announcement to fellow students where they learn how to video edit, take pictures and write articles. The juniors are responsible for making the morning announcements. The programme is fairly young and kept to basic information this moment in time. However, the school plans to expand on having an entertainment, weather and a sports segment with additional information on what SLAM is doing outside of the school building too. 

The seniors are currently working on a fifteen minute movie for which they are responsible for producing from idea to execution. The seniors are also responsible for supporting the athletics team where they film, take photographs and write articles about their games. Taking on a ‘Broadcasting Management’ role in some respects for the team. Not even the students wear the one hat in cases such as this where many programs actively integrate with another at the school and tap into the skills and resources of one another.

A very impressive broadcasting hands on program with a professional studio adjoining the classroom with the up to date broadcasting equipment. 

The broadcasting students have also interviewed the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.



Sports Medicine 

A whistle stop to see the Sports Medicine Teacher, Ms Mujagic. The teaching room fully equipped with examination tables for athletes and where teaching is also taken out of the room and practice in real time when games are taking place where athletes may need physical attention.

l left SLAM with a clearer idea of what this wonderful school is and represents. The atmosphere at the school is full of excitement and promise. The energy and drive of the students who are brimming over with enthusiasm to learn and so very proud of their school. To the teachers and staff that are so dedicated and go above and beyond duties to teach and coach students to provide the next generation with the knowledge and skills to further their sports related career with an innovative and fresh approach. Giving the students at SLAM a competitive edge.

Firstly, thank you to everyone involved in making this wonderful experience happen. Thank you Principal Jimenez, Vice Principal Rey, Lead Teacher and Math Department Chair Mr Montelongo, Mr Rivera, Mr Benitez, Ms Mujagic, Mrs Capdevila with a special thanks to 'amigo' Mr Milian who took on the role as my personal guide and took me under his wing as well as teaching me all about broadcasting at the school. To all the teachers and administrators from the security, front of house secretaries to into the classrooms for your warm welcome and taking the time to talk to me and allowing me to sit in classes and learn more about SLAM with a practical approach. Thank you to the students that also made my visit really educational and enjoyable too and taking the time to talk about themselves and their projects. I’m very excited about all that is yet to come at SLAM Miami. 


Rina

WALKING ON BRIDGE FROM SLAM 2 TO SLAM 1


MR MILIAN'S QUOTE WALL




SNIPPET OF MR MILIAN'S PRESS CONFERENCE CLASS EXERCISE WITH THANKS TO STUDENT RUBEN CARDERO






MR RIVERA'S SPORTS VOCABULARY DRAWING WALL





STUDENT JUAN GARCIA EXPLAINS HIS WORK FOR MR RIVERA'S SPORTS VOCABULARY WALL 




PHOTOS

 SLAM 1: GYM







 NEW BUILDING: SLAM 2




VIEW FROM SLAM 2 

LOOKING TOWARDS MAIN SLAM 1 BUILDING





SLAM 2: NEW GYM/BASKETBALL COURT




SLAM 2: BASKETBALL TEAM PHOTO WITH PITBULL 


 SLAM 2: SLAM TITANS WEIGHTS ROOM 





SLAM 3



MR MILIAN'S QUOTE WALL


THANKS GIVING WALL IN LARRY MILIAN'S CLASS  








LARRY MILIAN'S CLASS: PRESS CONFERENCE



SLAM MISSION & VISION STATEMENT



MR RIVERA 


MR RIVERA'S CLASS: QUOTES AROUND BOARD & CLASSROOM







WHITE BOARDS FOR STUDENTS TO WORK OUT MATH PROBLEMS






EXAMPLE OF WORK ONSPORTS VOCABULARY WALL WITH THANKS TO MELISSA HIDALGO



MR BENITEZ: BROADCASTING CLASSROOM




BROADCASTING ROOM WHERE MORNING ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE MADE 




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