Walking the Path is busy setting up programs in new Alternative Learning Centers (ALCs) where Partnership with Children is working this year. ALCs are learning sites for students who have been suspended from their "home" schools. Chronic absenteeism is a common issue at ALCs, where student motivation is often low. Walking the Path provides a great way to get these students re-engaged in school and excited about learning. Through Walking the Path students get to take part in interactive projects, learn about photography and videography while building their writing skills and take time to reflect on their life experiences.
We're excited to keep you posted on developments this year and the great projects our students will create.
Thank you for your ongoing support to help keep at-risk students in school!
What is more daunting for a high school student than writing application essays for college admissions? It is a nerve-wracking process, particularly for students who struggle with literacy skills and may not have strong academic support at home. To help our high school students with the process this past school year Partnership with Children utilized Walking the Path's digital story-telling program as a way for students to create multi-media college application essays.
Through the process students strengthened their ability to organize and express their thoughts -- skills that apply equally to writing and film-making, and will be critical to their success as college students. We're happy to say that as a result, two of our students were selected as finalists for United Way college grants! As we begin work in more high schools this September, we look forward to helping a greater number of students apply to college using new technology.
We're happy to share with you that Walking the Path and Partnership with Children have been collaborating in a unique College Readiness Program for 11th and 12th graders at Maxwell High School in East New York, Brooklyn for the past few months. Students in the program created autobiographies that focus on telling their personal stories of growth and hopes for the future. After writing and editing their stories, the students visited Partnership with Children's office in Manhattan during a two-day, intensive workshop in which they completed the audio components of their digital films using Final Cut Express. The program culminates in June, when the students will present their autobiographies to their families and teachers. What a wonderful way to end the school year!
Over the past few months students taking part in Walking the Path immersed themselves in writing and video-producing to create digital autobiographies. I can not recount every story here, but wanted to share that of one particular student, a 15 year old female ninth-grade student in Brooklyn. Through Walking the Path, she found an eloquent way to express her feelings about her behavior and desire to turn her life around. Below is a short excerpt from her story:
"My life is like a roller coaster but I have learned to accept all obstacles I face. I have problems in school, like every teenager. For me though, its deeper than just acting out. I bring all my anger about my parents' separation with me to school and take it out on my peers and teachers. My mom and I were both angry at my dad for leaving us so unexpectedly. We started fighting a lot because we were both so angry. Instead of yelling at my mom, I came to school and got into fights and got suspended a lot. I am trying to change now. When I feel angry, I write about how I feel. I don't want to get myself in any more trouble. I want to change and be successful."
We're happy to report that the frigid winter temperatures did not scare away our students from venturing into their neighborhoods to take photos and video of their home surroundings as part of our Walking the Path program! The surroundings are the backdrop to the students' personal stories about the events that have shaped their lives thus far.
Luckily the writing component of Walking the Path involves indoor work however, so students were able to warm up as they honed their writing and editing skills. A crucial aspect of Walking the Path is building students literacy skills. This entails not just their ability to write about their lives eloquently, but also to edit their peers' work.
A deeply personal experience, the process of creating their autobiographical digital stories in Walking the Path is both self-exploratory and a means for building real-life skills in computer digital editing programs and literacy.
We'll have photos to post soon!
Thank you for your continuing support of Walking the Path.
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