The five-minute video, “East Harlem IS,” depicting changes in the students’ neighborhood, was the culmination of an 11-week apprenticeship for a dozen students at STARS Prep Academy MS45 in East Harlem. The students learned about journalism and news literacy, along with how to write a script, use a camera and sound equipment, conduct interviews and edit video.
Five New York Times journalists and former CNN financial editor Myron Kandel — all News Literacy Project fellows — worked with the students in partnership with the nonprofit Citizen Schools. Citizen Schools is a national model that provides low-income middle-school students with after-school programs that blend real-world learning projects and rigorous academics.
The apprenticeship culminated with a WOW! — a presentation, made by the students to members of the community, that demonstrates their mastery of new skills. The students in the “Make a News Show” group screened their video for more than 60 guests at the Museum of the City of New York on May 12. They also demonstrated what they learned as they produced it.
This was one of just four apprenticeships in New York that Citizen Schools selected to highlight with such a high-profile event. It ran a total of 58 apprenticeships citywide during the spring of 2009.
Jane Bornemeier, editor of New York Times Radio, was the project leader. The other Times participants were video journalists Kassie Bracken, Emily Hager, Robert Harris and Michele Monteleone. Myron Kandel was CNN’s founding financial editor and an economic commentator for 25 years.
“I hadn’t spent time with middle school students in many years and had no idea what to expect in a New York City school,” Bornemeier said. “I was thrilled and challenged by the students’ enthusiasm, curiosity, intelligence and enormous energy. I’ll never forget a single one of them.”