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Podcasts with a Purpose

This year, our sixth grade class at Anansi Charter School, in Taos New Mexico has been part of a media education project. We’ve been making brochures and digital interactive reports. And now we are learning how to make a podcast.

To go back a bit, last summer we read a book called, Pay it Forward, about a young boy who wanted to help out by paying kindness forward. After we read the book, we wanted to “pay it forward” by making and delivering sandwiches every month to the Men’s Shelter, and organizing a drive for supplies from our whole school. Then we started to learn about homelessness in our community and decided we wanted to make a podcast so that we could get the word out and bring awareness to the situation in Taos.

The class was split into three groups with a focus on different types of homelessness…..homelessness….let that word sink a little: men, women and children, and young adults/teens. The groups interviewed people from Community Against Violence, Heart of Taos, Taos Men’s Shelter, DreamTree, and government officials.

We’re learning about the power of media, whether it be a small piece of paper or something on the internet that spreads like wildfire. We as a class have been learning how to use media responsibly and  in a good way. Hopefully, this media project will help make a positive change in our community. Besides, it is a fun project that many kids will enjoy!

A HUGE thank you to Julia Daye, amazing radio producer and all-around media expert. We couldn’t have done this without you, Julia…..thank you!!!!

The Sixth Grade class planning their first steps in getting the podcast started.

We are 6th students at Anansi Charter School. Our journey with the “Podcast With A Purpose” all started with a book called Paying It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It’s about a young kid who thought of a plan to help the world. Then we decided to make sandwiches for the Taos Men’s Homeless Shelter once a month. We continued our studies on homelessness by reading a story called “The Box Lady.” Our class got more and more inspired. Before we knew it we were making a podcast on homelessness. Our group focused on the men’s homeless shelter here in Taos NM. We started by researching the root causes of men’s homelessness. We decided who we wanted to interview and decided on the Mayor, one of our County Commissioners, and a volunteer at the Taos men’s shelter. Next, we wrote down the questions that we wanted to ask them. We also decided on jobs like the editors of the interviews or the sound effects so we all have a part in the podcast. It was a race against time to get the podcasts out to public before school let out for the summer. When we finished interviewing, we started on editing and polishing up all of the bloopers in our podcast. We’re pushing forward and trying to get the podcast finished as soon as possible. Wish us luck and thank you for listening to our now finished podcast!

Sixth grade journalists interviewing the Taos Mayor.

Being a homeless teenager in Taos is hard. We learned this through making our “Podcast with a Purpose” and through DreamTree teen homelessness organization. After securing an interview with Irene Loy, the Development Outreach Coordinator of DreamTree, we found a way to support, to help, and even to spread the word and act on teen homelessness in a positive way. We got a lot of information to add to our podcast with the hope that many, if not more, people would hear this and act on it. The hardships that many homeless teens have gone through are tremendously heartbreaking and bitter. Organizations like DreamTree are really helping homeless teens and kids in Taos. And, if that doesn’t make you act on teen homelessness, then act anyway.

Students interviewing about Women's Homelessness

This started with our class starting something called Operation Sandwich where we would make around 30 sandwiches and deliver them to the homeless shelter and it would be their dinner or their next day’s lunch. Then our class thought that we should spread the word about homelessness so we decided to make podcasts. Our group was focusing on women and the services they are receiving at the shelters. Our group has done two interviews with the directors of Community Against Violence and Heart of Taos. During the interviews, we learned a lot about what some women and children go through. We hope that people will listen to our podcast and learn more about the homeless situation for women and their kids in Taos, New Mexico.

Students interviewing about Women's Homelessness

Link to Spent, an online activity about homelessness.


Taos Men’s Shelter: 575-779-9198

St. James Epscopal Church: (food pantry): 575-758-2790

El Pueblito Church: Shared Table:

NM crisis hotline:
1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474)


Community Against Violence:
Address: 945 Salazar Rd, Taos, NM 87571
Phone: (575) 758-8082

Heart of Taos:
Address: 1353 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571
Phone: (575) 776-4245

NM Crisis Hotline:
1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474)


DreamTree Project:
128 La Posta Rd
Taos, NM 87571
Call: 575-758-9595
Text: 575-770-7704

NM Crisis Hotline
1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474)

NM Peer to Peer Warmline:
1-855-4NM-7100 (466-7100)
Call: 3:30 pm – 11:30 pm / Text: 6pm – 11pm

Homeless and Runaway Youth:

NM Crisis Line and Access Line:

Suicide Prevention and Support:

NM Coalition to End Homelessness:

Advocates for Youth:

St. James Episcopal Church: