While teaching photojournalism at an inner city middle school through the St. Petersburg Times, I lead a group of 15 students in producing a seven minute documentary on fighting in their schools for the PBS News Hour. Partnered with NPR and Student reporting labs, my students used the skills they had learned in my class to tell a story of significance.
I'll never forget the day I was brainstorming with the students and one of my eighth grade boys came up with the idea, "From the home, to the streets, to the gangs, to the schools: why do people fight." In the next coming months I helped guide him and his team as they set up interviews, tracked down statistics and stayed many hours after school editing it all together.
I'm so proud of what my 11-14 year old students created. This piece went on to win first place in the EMA's regionally and placed second on a national level. This story along with a mini documentary on our 14-year-old director ran on prime time during the PBS Newshour. DeQonton's story can be seen here.