- Hide menu
Voices of Hope Productions provides media arts, literacy and leadership training for young people throughout communities in New Jersey. We prepare youth with the knowledge, tools, decision-making, and peer-to-peer and adult relationship building skills needed to create powerful, thought-provoking media on community issues that concern them—distributing the media as a catalyst for dialogue and social change.
Young people have broad access to a diversity of information sources as a result of political, economic and technological developments. The most significant development of the last decade has been the growing role and importance of electronic media, particularly the Internet for young people and adults alike. As citizens, both young and old we are highly influenced by the messages and images distributed through the mass media system. With the ever-increasing “screen landscape” and the popularity of mobile phones and devices like the iPad and Flip camcorders, and the tremendous amount of media content available, it’s very important to integrate the skills of analyzing and making media to develop an educated and media literate society. By doing so we can begin to develop a more balanced overview of underrepresented topics and voices as well.
YOUTH MEDIA PROGRAMMING:
• Offers Leadership Skills
• Facilitates Relationships Between Youth and the Community
• Offers Involvement in Real World Issues
• Builds Organizing Skills
• Develops Community and Civic Skills
• Engages Youth from Different Cultures and Backgrounds
• Creates sound youth-adult partnerships
Young media-makers develop the skills to not only express their point of view, but they produce media that can make a positive impact in their communities. They also have the opportunity to build strong relationships with adults and peers from different neighborhoods, backgrounds and cultures.
Voices of Hope Production uses media-based youth organizing as a vehicle to promote learning and social change. We put digital cameras in the hands of young people, preparing them to learn a craft, tell a story, and communicate better with each other, their parents, teachers and society as a whole. Voices of Hope Production empowers young people to get involved locally to distribute the authentic voice of American teenagers. When young people have the ability to think critically, analyze the media and construct it themselves, they realize how messages are crafted.
The youth media program aims at inspiring teens to make healthy and safe decisions, think and behave differently, offer societal solutions and maintain respect and tolerance for each other—all through open dialogue and a healthy, focused outlet to express their ideas and opinions.
SKILLS AND LEARNING AREAS
Assessing Skill Sets
Youth media project encourages youth ages 13 to 19 to develop new skill sets, get their voices and opinions heard, and work on topics of interest to them. Each young person will come to the project with varied abilities, experiences, interests, point-of-view and needs. An assessment will be made on how to apply their strengths and talents to the documentary film process. Objectives will also be set for new knowledge areas to be developed. Youth who have an interest in storytelling, writing, journalism, interviewing, graphics, photography, video, sound, lighting and editing are encouraged to apply. Storytelling is an enlightening effort that requires a diverse team of people to address the skills needed to create an effective film story. Working as a team with adult partners, youth have the ability to use their experiences to make critical decisions, enhance the creative process and develop insightful and thought-provoking media.
Learning Areas – Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production
Diverse youth teams will learn how to work together to produce short documentaries and PSAs. They learn what happens in pre-production, production and post production including: research, critical thinking, identifying ideas for community video stories, storyboarding and journaling, interviewing techniques, and the basics of digital photography and video including sound and lighting. Once short films are shot, they will learn basic editing techniques and discover how to use their special skill sets and interests and integrate them into short documentary stories from 1 – 6 minutes in length. They will also learn how to present, discuss and raise awareness about their finished videos as a group by holding screenings at local venues, schools and workshops. The video documentary stories will also be distributed globally on the Voices of Hope Web site as streaming video and may be used as curricula, with associated teaching tools for media literacy in a classroom setting.
• Sexual Attitudes/Behavior
• Delinquency and Crime
• Substance Abuse
• Social Justice
• Gender roles
• Community Participation and Advocacy
• Social Change
Nurturing Youth-Adult Partnership & Connection to the Community
The Community Spirit Teen Video Project encourages people of all ages to work together. Youth-adult partnerships play a key role in identifying, nurturing, educating, encouraging, counseling, advising, and inspiring media-makers and leaders to make a difference in their communities. By working together on community documentary video projects, a process is fostered to develop healthy and giving relationships across generations. Voices of Hope recognizes the importance of developing community partnerships and works jointly with local public schools, philanthropic organizations, corporations, police, policymakers and media professionals to make a positive impact in young people’s lives. It’s a win-win situation.
Children, youth and adults must become more critical consumers of media in order to combat the manipulative culture created by the mass media. No better way to do that than with teachable moments that happen while media is being created. Voices of Hope Productions provides hands-on workshops, curricula and resources to better prepare youth, educators and parents for living and learning in a socio-political, media saturated society. Through short workshops, Voices of Hope Productions translate media into practical tips, information, exercises and educational tools for teachers, youth leaders, parents and caregivers of children to use every day.
• What methods are available to manage the constant change within the media using new processes/teaching tactics?
• What are some approaches to working with staff and youth when introducing media literacy?
• What educational materials work best to teach media literacy?
• How can media literacy be discussed in the home environment?
In the 21st century, students enter school with prior knowledge, skill sets, and experience with technology and media that was never available to earlier generations. Preparing teachers and parents for working with students and youth who have watched countless hours of television and videos, learned to operate a DVD or mobile phone by age two, and mastered dozens of video games before kindergarten is an enormous challenge. The exponential growth of technology continues to challenge teachers and parents to keep up with student’s abilities. As experts in the field of media literacy, Voices of Hope Productions works with community and nonprofit organizations to develop youth media curricula to engage youth in media-making so that they can explore and analyze complex media issues.
Whether exploring trends in media literacy, or discussing a major topic area, such as the effects of violence in the media, the toxicity of American advertising, creating media, or the trivializing of the daily news, Voices of Hope Productions is prepared to stimulate and engage youth with lively multi-media presentations and dynamic, interactive projects and discussions.
If media literacy is to take hold, it must be addressed widely:
• New Jersey Department of Education
• Schools of education and institutions of higher learning
• School districts and sub-districts
• Individual schools — public, private, charter and parochial
• Community groups, pre-school and after-care providers
• Parents, individual educators or media professionals who wish to further their knowledge and improve their skills in media literacy education