Throughout the spring 2022 semester, WSKG Education partnered with students in Broome-Tioga BOCES New Visions Law & Government Academy as they embarked on a video project focused on immigration.
Students developed guiding questions and identified local community members to interview. Through storyboarding, scripting, filming, and editing they crafted a compilation video that weaves together multiple immigration stories and perspectives as well as shorter form videos focused on individuals.
Ani Loew, BT-BOCES New Visions Law & Government Academy Instructor/Placement Coordinator explained the class structure and inspiration behind this project:
“Broome-Tioga BOCES New Visions is a career exploration program for high-achieving high school seniors who want to earn college credit while investigating professional career pathways. We focus on project-based learning, so it seemed natural to incorporate PBS Student Reporting Labs into our curriculum. In addition to helping students become more critical consumers of the media, video production also gives us a way to develop their public speaking and professionalism skills and publish their work.
In anticipation of this project my students read American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Students compared how both novels addressed human dignity. My intention for this project was to make a national news topic more personal by creating opportunities for students to interview people who had a variety of different immigrant stories to share. Whether your American roots reach back to early European settlers, or were planted when you came to America seeking opportunity or safety, everyone has an immigration story. I think hearing those stories from people in our own community makes immigration an ‘us’ issue, not a ‘them’ issue.”
Colin Perney, a student in New Visions Law & Government Academy and lead producer of this series shared:
“The immigration video project was a very eye-opening experience. Being able to hear first hand difficulties that these community members had to face really opens up your perspective and shows you the hardships of life.”
Student William Morton also reflected:
“I feel that this project confirmed for me that no group of people is a monolith. Everyone has their own unique story to tell, regardless of where they come from.”
Youth Voices at WSKG is supported in part by Darryl Wood and Toby Wollin and the Bert Santora Charitable Trust.