Happy New Year! It’s an exciting time of year for our Walking the Path students—especially those at August Martin High School! Prior to the holidays, a group of 8 students spent weeks writing and producing their own video memoir. They first worked with the school’s English Language Art’s teacher to write a personal story. Afterwards, they learn how to use a video camera and edit footage on Final Cut Pro. Fully armed with the skills needed, each student shot their own video footage, recorded the voiceover of their personal story and edited it all together in a 2-3 minute video. Each student will receive a copy of their memoir. Even better, later this month we’ll roll out the red carpet and host a Hollywood style Premiere of all 8 videos for friends and family.
Also in progress is Walking the Path’s photography program at John Jay High School. Students are introduced to the ins and outs of photography learning about lighting, framing and of course, proper camera operation. Afterwards they take a “Walk Around the Block” to take pictures of family, friends and their neighborhood, using the skills they learned. To add a writing element, students are encouraged to write poems to correspond with their photographs and the pieces are displayed at the school like an art gallery.
Walking the Path is a fantastic program for students to explore creative methods of expressing their feelings. It is very difficult to imagine the hardships some of our students face every day. Sometimes students are not willing to speak about their troubles, but through creative expression, we are able to gain a better sense of how our students struggle and provide them with tools to combat these challenges. At the same time, students are exposed to new creative methods, develop pride and confidence by sharing their work with others and earn school credit too!—keeping them on track for graduation.
Thank you again for your support and helping at-risk students succeed. We look forward to updating you as the year progresses. Stay tuned for more updates and photos of the August Martin Premiere!
With another school year under our belt, we have some great successes to share with you from last year!
Our students at John Jay High School spent the year learning how to express themselves through poetry and photography. Through a series of workshops, they have learned to tell their own life stories and convert this into digital art. Students were given cameras to take photos around their neighborhood and journals to record their thoughts and poetry. The poetry and photos were collected and assembled into a book—we’re excited to produce Volume 2 of our Walking the Path stories! The books were published to give our students and their families a record of their achievement in Walking the Path.
Additionally, at WEB Dubois, students worked with their English teacher to write their own memoirs. These children live in such extreme poverty and are forced to unimaginable challenges each and every day. It’s a very powerful thing, to be able to understand exactly what these children are going through, but more importantly, to have them tell their own stories by painting such a clear picture of the lives they lead. Some of these stories were even converted into digital storytelling pieces!
With the new school year finally here, we’re so excited to meet a new group of students. We look forward to helping them discover their talents, as they learn of new ways to express themselves in nonviolent, productive ways.
Thank you again for your support and helping at-risk students succeed. We look forward to updating you as the fall projects evolve. Stay tuned!
Walking the Path - May 2011 UpdateAt the WEB Dubois school, we implemented the full version of Walking the Path from March 28 to April 8, 2011. This project focuses on the creation of a memoir, in which the student writes a personal story, takes photos and then creates a video with spoken word and still images. We collaborated with the English Language Arts teacher Mr. Khairy, who assisted the 18 student applicants with the initial writing portion. Out of those, 6 were selected to continue with the final phase of the project. Five of them created and edited digital stories and one composed an audio story. Two of the students then composed background music to be used for video in the PwC-run music production group. When the video was completed, we held a banquet-style premier on May 12, 2011 with families and friends who came to show support for the student participants.At John Jay School, we held a shorter version of Walking the Path, with four 2-day photography workshops. At these workshops, students took pictures of the school's surrounding community. The participants then edited the photos and wrote short descriptive passages to accompany them. Altogether, 20 students participated in this version of Walking the Path. These narratives will be included in a book of writings and photos that Joan Morse, founder of Walking the Path, is creating for the school.
Walking the Path has been busy this month working with two new groups of high school students at Alternative Learning Centers in Brooklyn, New York (sites that students are sent to for the duration of their out-of-school suspensions). We're excited to re-engage these at-risk students in learning at such a critical time in their education, when they may feel hopeless or disillusioned with school. The autobiographical videos the students produce give them a unique chance to reflect on the experiences that led to their suspensions, as well as to set out their personal goals in life.
We'll have photos and writings to post soon!
Thank you for supporting our project and helping keep at-risk New York City students in school.
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