Middle schoolers document everyday life in film festival entry

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The school year may be just about over, and while many students are focused on summer, a group of Southeast Middle School students are still learning and possibly teaching others. They are part of the school's broadcast program and they fan out in teams every day looking for news around the school.

Their daily broadcast consists of fun facts, hot topics, and of course, those daily announcements. But earlier this year, the students and their teacher stumbled on to an idea for something bigger. It came from an email from the school district. That email announced a call for short films by the Global Student Voice Film Festival, the theme -- In Another's Shoes.

Broadcast teacher John Hyman thought it was the perfect project for his budding journalists.

"I thought, our kids interact with kids every day doing the broadcast," Hayman explained. "They really did have a sense of empathy."

Hayman's students set out to find two of their peers with a story to tell. They settled on Trinity Schley, a sixth-grader who is blind, and Jose Delcid, who was born in Mexico.

"We made a film about people going through life's struggles." said Caleb Rackley, who narrates the film.

The film's script, photography, and editing was all done by the broadcast class.

The project follows Schley and Delcid as they navigate the ins and out of a typical school day. The students tell their own stories about what they like, dislike, and what makes their days difficult.

The conclusions the students draw in the closing seconds of the film are wise beyond their years.

"True intelligence isn't just in learning new skills. It is gaining new perspectives."

The film, called In Another's Shoes, was just announced as a finalist in the film festival. This summer, the students will have a chance to head to Chicago to share their ideas with students from around the world, and hopefully, make an impact on other schools.

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