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Mr. Lee from Oakland CA is requesting Technology through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Oakland High School Students as Documentary Filmmakers on Urban Youth Issues!

The cost of a digital video camcorder and three tripods is $1109, including shipping and <a target="new" href="" onclick="g_openWindow('', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $1,109 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Documentary Film Making 101 is part of an innovative three-week period called Post-session at the end of our academic school year. Students are engaged in our Post-session for three weeks of intensive art or physical education credit. This will be the fourth year our school has participated in this reinvigorating, energizing, and thrilling elective session. Students will be in their Post-session elective class for a total of seven hours a day for three weeks. Students in our Documentary Film Making course will learn and about and develop their own theory and understanding of the use of the film medium as a powerful communicative device for student voice for a number of different audiences. They will also engage in learning the technical aspects of film production including but not limited to: editing, lighting, cinematography, sound, storyboard, directing, camerawork and director of photography. At the conclusion of the course, students will produce documentary shorts highlighting major themes and issues in the lives of East Oakland youth. Some of the issues students will explore in their films may include: machismo in the Latino community, overcoming violence in their communities, education and opportunity, alcohol and drug abuse problems, etc. After the completion of their films, student teams will present their documentary shorts at a film festival for the entire school. Their films will also be shown on a local cable access television station: KDOL in Oakland. From my past experience in using video for integrated projects in my Humanities class, I can say that students flourish when they are able to use a different medium to demonstrate their knowledge, as well as thoughts and feelings, to an audience. Depending on the topic of choice for the documentary short, these films can also be used as public service announcements (PSAs) for our local school community, as well as the greater Oakland area and beyond. Outside of this Post-session course, I teach Humanities 3 (U.S. History and American Literature combined), American Government/ Economics, Senior Project, and Advisory. I teach in a small, public high school that is part of the Oakland Unified School District. Four years ago, we were part of Fremont High School. However, with the help of some dedicated teachers, parents, students and community members, we petitioned the district to separate from the comprehensive high school campus to form our own small school focused on Health and Bioscience. With a small 250 student population, comprised of Latino, African-American, Southeast Asian, and Pacific-Islander students, we are able to foster a more personalized, innovative and collaborative learning environment. We will need help with the purchase of an additional digital camcorder, four tripods, and four microphones for our class. We already have three cameras for the class, but with a total of 28 students, we will be working in groups to maximize the use of the cameras and equipment. With the increased cuts in education, and particularly in the arts, we desperately need the financial support to keep this class going. With this class, students find an outlet to release their thoughts, creativity, and imagination, and they are able to communicate some of the most pressing issues on myriad inner-city youths' minds!

Mr. Lee
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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6 donors6 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 28 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Canon ZR90 Digital Video Camcorder • Highsmith Inc. $572.00 1 $572.00
TRIPOD FOR CAMERAS AND STROBES • Sargent Welch $54.10 3 $162.30

Materials cost


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Fulfillment labor & materials

Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


6 Donors


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