Students from UCI Writing Project Summer Youth Program win top honors in three categories at 2020 My Hero Project International Film Festival
Two films created by two sixth grade students as part of the UCI Writing Project’s Summer Youth Program won prizes in three categories at the 2020 My Hero Project 16th International Film Festival.
Wear a Mask Hamilton Parody #STOPTHESPREAD, created by Angelina Pendleton-Mendez and Leila Woodward, won first place in two categories: “Student Sheltering Stories” and “Young Audience Poll Award.”
Additionally, Pendleton-Mendez received the first place Middle School Award for her entry, My Family Journey: Empowering Hispanic Women.
The films were created in the Summer Youth Program's Digital Storytelling workshop, which teaches students how to use digital media technology and video production knowledge and skills to create projects that raise awareness around a community issue.
“We wrote, recorded, filmed and edited the video separately in the comfort of our own homes in less than 48 hours,” Woodward said. “We are extremely grateful to the UCI Writing Project for providing a platform for us to be able to bring out and share an important message.”
“We are truly thankful to the UCI Writing Project for teaching us how to tell compelling stories through digital media,” said Pendleton-Mendez. “Instructors Frank Guttler and Dr. Viet Vu are wonderful mentors who helped and guided us in our journey.”
“Knowing how to create videos in the YouTube era is an essential skill for all students, but more importantly, students need to be able to use digital tools to effectively communicate their ideas, beliefs, and experiences to make a difference in the world,” said Vu, UCI School of Education lecturer and teacher of the Digital Storytelling workshops.
The UCI Writing Project Summer Youth Program, now in its 42nd year, transitioned to a virtual space in 2020 to continue offering literacy support to students during the pandemic. More than 600 students participated in the summer 2020 online program.
Based on outstanding reviews of the Summer Youth Program, and at the request of many parents, the UCI Writing Project extended its literacy support by establishing its Virtual Program for Youth (VPY), which features yearlong literacy courses for K-12 students.
Registration is now open for Winter/Spring courses, which include “Multi-Media Storytelling,” “Digital Storytelling About My Heritage and History,” “STEM: Coding Yourself Into a Digital World,” and more. For a full list of classes, please click here.
“These courses are taught by credentialed teachers who engage students in fun, academic literacy activities to promote interest, engagement, and academic motivation,” said Tracy Gov, UCI Writing Project Director of Operations.
The My Hero Project is a globally connected learning community promoting cross-cultural communication, human rights, environmental awareness, tolerance, media literacy and the arts. My Hero hosts an annual competition to recognize filmmakers, artists and activists working towards positive change and inspire audiences to become involved.
Watch the #STOPTHESPREAD film here.
Watch My Family Journey film here.