Some middle school kids from low-income families are on their way to perhaps becoming the next Stephen Spielberg. The students are working on video production via the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose. And thanks to a grant from NBC Bay Area’s Project Innovation, the kids are able to have a mobile video lab brought to their school.
Christopher Ceja and Jasmin Leon are sixth graders at San Jose’s Sacred Heart Nativity School, a campus catering to low-income families. Through the Children’s Discovery Museum, the students are taking a weekly course called Discovery Youth, where they produce their own video projects.
“I just like capturing a video or a moment of something doing something,” Jasmin said.
For Christopher, the project allows him to “capture the moment precisely.”
“Once I look at it, it’s like reliving the moment,” he said.
The students chose incredible topics for their projects.
Jasmin selected the topic of racism and Christopher chose assimilation — both topics that do not have easy answers.
“We are a Jesuit Catholic school. Social justice issues are important to our core values, so there’s a lot of talk about it in our community,” Sacred Heart Nativity School Principal Lorraine Shepherd said.
The sixth graders are above the average age of the kids at the Discovery Museum. And for some, transportation to the museum for the after school video class became an issue. The museum was awarded a $30,000 grant from NBC and Telemundo’s Project Innovation
The gran allowed them to create a mobile lab so the video production can now takes place at school.
“Thanks to support from NBC, we were able to generate revenue to bring the equipment and put all the pieces in place to do the program,” said Marliee Jennings, Children’s Discovery Museum CEO.
Many kids were missing out because transportation and a longer school day had become an issue.
“It’s better because here we could get pulled out of class to do the program instead of missing more school because of transportation,” Christopher said.
Project Innovation awards grants to groups and agencies that strengthen communities through innovative solutions. Discovery Youth is demonstrating what kids can accomplish in a tech savvy community when given the tools.
“It’s giving them a voice,” Jennings said.
For more information on Project Innovation, visit NBCUProjectInnovation.com.