We are about halfway through our semester at Cesar Chavez Public Policy Middle School (Parkside Campus). Students have completed two assignments for our class -- the first, an investigation of 'Who Am I?', prompted some really stunning photographs. The second project was assigned after our introduction to advocacy. Students were sent home with their cameras and told to choose one specific aspect of their lives that they wanted to change and to do a photo story arguing for that change. One particular student, Shania Atkinson, completed a story on trash in her neighborhood. She took some very well composed images illustrating the littering issues in her community. These images were very powerful in representing the large amount of trash in her community and also showed us that she was really beginning to understand how to tell a story about specific issues through her photography.On Friday, we will be taking six of our most promising students to the Chavez High School to attend a dropout summit. Our middle school students will not only be introduced to the issues surrounding the dropout crisis, but they will also have the opportunity to photograph the event, furthering their understanding of incorporating education policies and social change into their photography. All of our students at Chavez have shown incredible dedication and attention in our classes. The students are very well behaved, engaged and open with us.
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