Every student in the Westwood School District (Bergen County) will benefit from Through My Eyes, a project designed to use the arts to achieve greater academic success while developing greater tolerance for the pluralistic nature of our society. Thanks to a $3,991 continuation grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, two groups of students, one group 3rd graders and the other 7th – 12th graders, will work together to increase their visual literacy skills and develop their writing skills through hands-on photography workshops throughout the year. The group of 7th-12th grade students, who participated in the original project in 1997-98, and were at that time in 1st-6th grade, will increase their photographic skills through workshops in pinhole and digital photography, and will serve as peer coaches to the new group of 3rd grade photographers. Both groups of students will display their work in exhibitions in the district schools and community.
Teachers Susan Samuels and Arline Rosenberg will coordinate the program as the entire student body learns about photography and film, and develops their visual literacy and writing skills. All activities and student workshops will be planned by a committee of school staff members, a staff member of the local camera store, and two professional film makers and photographers.
Both groups of students will display their work in the local public library with accompanying text. The exhibit, which will focus on the theme of our cultural diversity, will open with a reception for the community.
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