Your investment in a camcorder for the film club at my school will give opportunities to students who would like to be involved with their school but ride the bus home each day because there is nothing for them to do.
The club will fill an important need at the school where I teach math to students in grades 9-12. In addition to physical poverty -- nearly all are on free/reduced lunch -- my students face a poverty of outlets for their energies, with few meaningful extracurricular activities other than basketball.
I have experience with writing and film and have been asked by the principal to begin a club to give students a creative outlet. However, writing-based creative endeavors frustrate my students, who generally read 3-6 years below grade level. Even students who walk the halls singing freestyle raps adamantly resist suggestions to put those words onto paper.
Image-based projects, on the other hand, appeal to many students. Young men and women who cut up and talk back when asked to write something down become respectful and attentive when entrusted with any type of camera. As a result, students who are reckless with expensive new calculators never drop a cheap point-and-shoot camera, often handing it back to me like a newborn kitten or puppy.
But loaning out one of my cameras is a limited solution for relatively few students. A documentary film club will reach more students and give them more things to do. Each member will complete one solo project -- a 2-3 minute self-reflexive film -- and participate in making a longer documentary about one of the school's sports teams, following the team over the course of a season.
This is where Donors Choose comes in. We have sufficient editing capacity, but to make the project work, we need our own camera because a film club should not have to share its camera unless it chooses. To make the project meaningful, the camera needs to be a little more capable than the most basic cameras so that students can learn to zoom and pan without the scene becoming a pixilated smear.
Thank you for your time in considering this proposal.
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