For a number of years now, RCTV has been fortunate to partner with Writers & Books on an innovative summer camp that offers kids the opportunity to learn media literacy and production.
Last week, we had the pleasure of working with youths 13 to 16, and in our July camp, we enjoyed working with a group of kids ages 9 to 12.
During these camps, both the younger and older groups learn how to use field cameras, including traditional video camcorders and go pros, as well as the HD cameras in the TV studio. When there’s time, they get to dabble in RCTV’s editing and music labs.
During the course of the week, both groups write, film and produce submissions for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, founded by author James Kennedy. The challenge for this film festival is to take a Newbery Award-winning or honor book and collapse it down to a 90-second video, which always proves to be challenging, exciting, and uproarious, if the blooper reels are any testament.
A number of the campers are veterans, having attended the camp for two years or more, which means they inevitably fall into a leadership role… a magical experience for most kids.
This year’s submissions created by the younger campers included Jennifer L. Holmes’ Turtle in Paradise and Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game. The older group of campers camped up Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia and Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me.
We’re always so delighted to work with the kids in our RCTV/Writers & Books Camp, as well as those who intern in our Summer of Opportunity program, because we feel as if our work will echo into the future. We’re giving these kids knowledge that can help them, not only, become more aware of their world and how they are influenced by media, but also sharing tools to shape the world around them.
It was the great educator, writer and philosopher Marshall McLuhan who said, “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and thereafter, our tools shape us.”
The power of media can be a transformational tool when put into the hands of a young person (or an adult, for that matter!) Suddenly, those who perceived themselves to be powerless harness power through their ability to chronicle and even influence the world around them. The skills they acquire give them a competency that builds self-esteem and their role as a media maker expands their self-perception beyond that of many of their peers.
RCTV thanks Writers & Books, the City of Rochester, the many youths we had the pleasure of working with this summer and the parents who made it possible for us to share these tools with the next generation.
For photos from the RCTV/Writers & Books’ Camp, age 13-16, visit this facebook album.
For photos from the RCTV/Writers & Books’ Camp, age 9-12, visit this facebook album.
For photos from our Summer of Opportunity, visit this facebook album.