Thursday, October 9, 2014

Original Banned Book Public Service Announcements

Media Magic has been learning about banned books, and why we think books shouldn't be banned. A book can teach us life lessons, help us improve our reading, or even inspire us to write our own books.

We made these Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to show what we have learned about the issue of banned books. To make the PSAs, we broke up into small groups and came up with original ways to share information with the public about this issue.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Best Moments from Reel Expressions 2014

Reel Expressions 2014 was a blast! Here's a look back at some of our favorite moments from the night:

Thanks to the Bardavon Theater for being such a great venue! 

One of our youth film makers, and our papparazzi for the night, Jeremiah. 

Some attendees striking a pose. 

Reel Expressions is fun for all ages!

Ryan, one of CMP's teachers and producers. 

Green screen filming in process as part of our interactive media reception. 

Youth film makers searching for gold. 

State Senator Terry Gipson meets CMP board president Cynthia Rosenzweig. 

CMP Executive Director Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt and CMP Founder Maria Marewski.

Nate, CMP staff member extarordinaire!
Youth film makers Khadija and Donald help with serving food. 

Board President Cynthia Rosenzweig with her family.

State Senator Terry Gipson honors Maria Marewski. 

Youth film maker Vivianna asks for donations after the show. 

Got pens? 

A group of amazing youth film makers from Albany. 

Former CMP student Tyler with Ryan and Mike. 

Ryan with his mom. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Banned Books...The Sequel!

For yet another week Media Magic has been working at the Adriance Library making projects that share information about banned books. Many of us were surprised by some of the books that have been challenged or banned. Here is a video of us talking about some of our favorite banned books:

Our next project on banned books is writing and filming original PSAs (Public Service Announcements) to spread awareness of the issue. We had a lot of fun planning and filming them. Here are some photos from the process.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Banned Books Selfies

Media Magic has been spending Mondays at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie working on special media projects for the library. Because it's Banned Books Week, as well as the kick-off for the Big Read, the teens from Media Magic decided to take selfies with their favorite banned books. What's your favorite banned book?

Vivianna and Madeleine like "Bone" by Jeff Smith

Brianna likes "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini and Jason likes "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey

Michael likes "Fat Kid Rules the World" by KL Going

Teen Librarian Martha likes "The Pigman" by Paul Zindel and Media Magic teacher Maya likes "The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman

Jack and Brianna like "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair

Jason likes "Will Grayson Will Grayson" by John Green and David Levithan

Khadija likes "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer

Ari and Azzan like "Bone" by Jeff Smith and Shyhiem likes "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury 

Dyasia likes "I Hunt Killers" by Barry Lyga

Dyasia likes "I Hunt Killers" by Barry Lyga and Dyreek likes "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes

Azzan likes "Maus" by Art Spiegelman and Ari likes "Bone" by Jeff Smith

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Main Street Media Magic

Welcome back to Media Magic for the Fall 2014 session! Our first project was called "Learning from the Streets." We walked around Main Street looking at the advertisements and signs to see what we liked and disliked, and had a chance to see what we might pass by in our regular days. While we walked down the street we used these questions as a guide:

1. Who created this message?
2. Why was this message sent? What do you think the author wants you to remember?
3. What techniques are used to attract your attention? Who do you think this is aimed at, and how can you tell?

4. What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented from this message? What ones are omitted?
5. How might other people understand this message differently from me?

After coming back to the CMP office, we recorded some of our thoughts about what we saw. A lot of us were surprised and upset about the things we saw because they were portraying a bad message to our community and youth.

Stay tuned for our video from this project, coming soon!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Edcamp Hudson Valley 2014

Edcamp 2014 was held in the Hudson Valley at Poughkeepsie Day School this year, and Children’s Media Project joined fellow educators in a fun day of learning, sharing, and innovation. Conferences like Edcamp are perfect for CMP’s educators and staff because they give organizations like CMP the opportunity to showcase our expertise when it comes to incorporating various technologies into an educational setting. With that said, CMP strives to be a successful and working example of the concepts and ideas presented in each session at this year’s Edcamp Hudson Valley.

Edcamp is an annual educator (un)conference where participants work collaboratively to present and share their innovative ideas geared toward empowering educators with the latest tools. Edcamp is a (un)conference because, unlike a conference, there is no schedule of events and it is purely volunteer/participant driven. In other words, you, as a participant, control the conference.

The day started bright and early with a delicious breakfast that was sponsored by local vendors. The communication aspect of the conference is one that is unique to Edcamp as each session was taught and updated virtually by those who decided to present their ideas.

During morning check-in, those who wanted to present a session of their choosing signed-up as a presenter. Each presenter was responsible for their sessions theme and content. Interesting fact: the session board remains blank until the volunteer presenters registered and selected their session time slot. Throughout the morning, the live session board, which was accessible from Edcamp Hudson Valley’s website, was gradually updated with the day’s sessions. The great thing about having a pop-up session board was that each session was essentially a surprise to the participants until the morning of the Edcamp. Each session was focused on implementing various social media and communication based programs - texting and google suite, for example - to the classroom. The innovative part of the conference was that the participants were allowed to plan their day by selecting sessions based on their interest level and there was no obligation to sit through an entire session. Who doesn’t love a “Guilt-free” policy when it comes to education? This allowed each participant to gain the most out of their Edcamp experience.
Our very own Director of Education, Mary Ellen, presented two sessions: incorporating Twitter into the classroom and collaborative classroom writing using Google docs. 

The session on incorporating Twitter into the classroom detailed the benefits of using Twitter as a research tool and method of communicating this research with the students. 

For example, a classroom twitter page allows students to create hashtags that will enable them to tweet research findings or a simple update that is relevant to class discussion.

Other sessions included a presentation on incorporating instagram styled photography into lessons plans to encourage students to think critically and outside the box. Also, for tech newbies, there was a session on applying basic technology - Google suite, Celly and to the classroom for organizational and communication purposes.

The day ended with a “smack down” where participants could stand up front and share what they learned at Edcamp or present an idea that wasn’t mentioned in the sessions, further apply the learning, sharing, and innovation theme of the day. Overall, the CMPers had an amazing time of sharing and connecting with fellow educators at Edcamp Hudson Valley and would like to say Thank-you to all the volunteers whose hard work made it happen! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Moment with Mike Mulat

 This past week, one of our wonderful team members left the organization. On Wednesday, the CMP crew said farewell to Media Educator Michael Mulat, who is joining his wife, Jasmine, in the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) area to continue their work in Arts and Education. While we are sad to see Mike go, we are excited to witness what his future holds, and we know it will be a bright one!

 Mike came to us as a volunteer, working with our staff to create content for a variety of CMP Programs and Events. It wasn’t long before his talent as an artist, aptitude towards learning, and his ability as an educator became apparent. After a year of volunteering, Mike was made part of our home office staff, as a Media Educator.

 Over the next two years, Mike worked with youth in programs like Media Magic and DROP TV, working diligently to create amazing content for our promotions and website, and helped to provide a quality experience for all of our program participants. During his time with us, Mike created many great memories with students and staff alike. We asked some of the staff and students to provide insight on what it was like to work with Mike, by highlighting some of their favorite experiences. Here are some excerpts from those responses:

Mike in his element, teaching youth about filmmaking

“One of my favorite memories of Mike (and there are so many!) is from the winter/spring of 2012, when we took a group of youth to the Community Read book discussion nights at the Family Partnership Center. We'd teach Media Magic from 3:30 - 5:30, then we'd pile into my car and head over to the Sadie Peterson African Roots Library to meet with community members, non-profit leaders, and Poughkeepsie activists to discuss Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow. Even at the end of a long day, Mike always brought his quiet-but-keen insights and observations, while being so supportive of the youth as they worked through the tough issues raised in discussion. After a few weeks, the youth got to the point where they took initiative to lead the reading group through a small media production workshop, in which they led everyone through making radio PSAs about racial profiling and the prison-industrial complex. I know we couldn't have done it without Mike. The fact that those exhausting and long nights were still times of true learning and enjoyable discussion is a great example of Mike's heart, dedication, and diligence in helping to facilitate community transformation. He modeled for the youth how to have fun working hard, long hours on a project that matters to the community, and was - as always - a wonderful coworker and friend with whom to share that experience.”

- Mary Ellen Iatropoulos
Director of Education

“I have so many great memories of working with Mike. I’ve known him for long time now and have made amazing short films with him and the DROPTV groups… they were so much fun to work on and be a part of. Though one of my favorite memories of Mike was making the DROPTV short film Origin Story. With our DROPTV group we were able to collaborate all our ideas and make a short film about a super-hero finding his origin story their funny situations. Working with Mike on Origin Story was a fun experience that left everyone laughing. I am really glad I was able to work and get to know Mike. He is a great Teacher , Collaborator , and Friend.”

- Jack Palmiotti
Alumni, Youth Committee Member

“My favorite memory of Mike is when Mike, Ryan, and I, all went to teach a class at an elementary school. It is a memory I will cherish because it was the first time I’d set out on a job with my favorite teachers. It was one of those times when I wasn't a student anymore! I was on par with my own mentors! We had a great and chill time and that is what I liked the most. Mike is a very cool and talented guy and he gave me so much encouragement on my music! He will be very missed! Thank you Mike!”

- Nathaniel Jackson

“The best memory I had was when I was first coming to CMP and he taught the group all these different techniques and dynamics to film. I enjoyed this the most because it broadened my perspective of how different the methods that are applied to developing a film can be.”

- Michael Davidson

“I loved talking about Scorsese with Mike.”

- David Foley

“My favorite memories with Mike are working with him on No Justice For Clint Monroe, No Reason, and Origin Story. They were all so much fun to work on, and it was awesome having him for both projects my first year here. No Reason has to be my favorite piece I've made at DROPTV; it was just so ridiculous and fun. Thanks for everything, Mike.”

- Sam Brinkley
Youth Producer, Youth Committee Member

“My favorite Mike memory is working with him on two pieces, Origin Story and The Contained. It was a great experience and while I worked with Mike he taught me all things I know now about camerawork and editing. He is a great teacher and I wish him the best.”

- Dion Pinkney

“So CMP had just sent a bunch of us in a van to go to Troy, NY [to visit] another not-for-profit program called Media Sanctuary. It was a huge event - tons of people were there - and we collaborated with them to make some good work, and it was screened afterwards… On the ride back Mike sat next to me and we just started talking. I don't remember exactly what we talked about but I know we talked the whole car ride back. It was really cool to have someone to talk to on that ride and actually about real stuff and topics. When we got back all my friends were asked what we were talking about and I didn't have an actually answer - we were just talking. So after that I saw Mike a bunch of places and he's helped me a lot on my journey and he will very much be missed. So thank you mike and hope paths cross soon.”

- Nick Jackson
Alumni, Teaching Assistant

Our farewell brunch with Mike

 As you can tell from the above quotes, Mike’s quiet and friendly personality helped to create a pleasant and nurturing environment for both students and staff. He has been held in high regard with virtually anyone he comes into contact with, and his contributions to our organization, in particular, were paramount to the work we do here at CMP. He will be deeply missed here, but we have no doubt that wherever Mike’s journey leads him, he will continue to prove himself as an asset to that organization.

 Mike and Jasmine, we wish you the best of luck, and greatest success, in all of your future endeavors. We will miss you both!