Tahoma High students from the Literature that Inspires and Advanced Video Productions classes teamed up to write and film documentaries on issues that face teens today.
The documentaries covered topics such as body image, drug abuse, bullying, inclusion of students with special needs, and the effects of media on students’ lives.
Students from the Literature that Inspires class developed the story and scripts for each documentary and then were paired with a team of students from the Advanced Video Productions class who oversaw the cinematography, audio and editing aspects of the projects. In all, students wrote and produced six documentaries.
“I loved the whole team aspect,” said Isabella Gulino, a student who worked on “MEDIAocracy.” “It was really independent. It was all us.”
Students also appreciated the chance to delve into hard subjects and to branch out.
“My favorite part was meeting all the people, hearing their stories,” said student Shawn Fowler.
Throughout the project students learned about the ins and outs of producing a documentary, asking hard questions and developing a story, which was a growth experience for Blake Colella and his classmates.
“It was going through all the ups and downs together,” Colella said.
The documentaries were screened for the public at an event titled Share the Enthusiasm at Tahoma High on Jan. 24.
A Tahoma High student catered the event for his senior project, creating hors d’oeuvres for guests. Other high school students in digital arts and floral design created movie posters and arrangements.
Allison Agnew and Rick Haag teach the Literature that Inspires and Advanced Video Production courses at Tahoma High.
This was the third year the Literature that Inspires class has been offered at THS and teachers and administrators would like to see the partnership grow into a new program, the THS Film Academy, which would focus on the integration of film and other subjects like social studies.
Integration of subjects and collaboration by students is a part of the bigger initiative to foster community and teamwork in the district.
“This is one school,” said Terry Duty, principal of Tahoma High.
Reach Katherine Smith at email@example.com or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.