De La Salle 2013: Students Chronicle Their Neighborhood's Stories

De La Salle Bronx Doc Center
Students during their visit to the Bronx Documentary Center.
Students at De La Salle Academy working with the News Literacy Project wrapped up the spring semester of 2013 with a multimedia project of stories and powerful photographs depicting life in the neighborhood around their school.

This was NLP's second year collaborating with De La Salle. NLP staff and journalist volunteers worked with teachers and students on two projects that demonstrated students’ news literacy and journalism skills. American studies teacher Angel Gonzalez led two classes of 8th-graders through the principles of photojournalism while examining changes in their school’s Manhattan neighborhood. An after-school program looked at issues relevant to young male students.

At the beginning of the semester, Gonzalez’s students took a field trip to the Bronx Documentary Center in the South Bronx to see an exhibit of photographs by influential photojournalists who captured a volatile time in the Bronx during the 1970s. This experience, along with visits by David Gonzalez, reporter and co-editor of the Lens blog at The New York Times, and other NLP journalist fellows, helped to shape the students’ final assignment: photographing the Upper West Side area around the school as part of an assignment researching social issues and the neighborhood’s changing landscape. 

NLP also worked with two teachers and a group of 8th graders participating in the school's Young Men's Workshop, an after-school project where boys are invited to talk freely about the issues they confront as young men. NLP collaborated on a media project with the boys, looking at violence in video games and the portrayal of young men in the media. Among the participating journalist fellows was George Bordarky, the news director of WFUV radio and a NLP veteran, who taught students the basics of audio reporting. At the end of the semester, students used their storytelling skills to put together audio reports that shared their personal stories on the influence of video games in their lives.

Both projects can be viewed on the multimedia website, "Urban Stomping Ground".