City Stories 2011

By its third summer, City Stories became a hands-on camp for the city’s youth run by our Y-Press organization.

The goal was to encourage young people to tell the stories about their communities using two ways — audio slideshows and creative writing. During the first 10-day session of that year, two IPS teachers observed and participated in the camp in order to understand audio slideshow development. It would fall on these two teachers to develop lesson plans for other teachers, which was made available on the original Y-Press website later that summer.

During camp, the first week was spent learning how to photograph, how to collect sound, how to meet and greet a potential interviewee, how to write questions, and how to use observation to improve creative writing.

Not only did young people at Hawthorne Community Center and Concord Neighborhood Center learn from Y-Press journalists, but they were able to learn from professionals — Indianapolis Star photographer Danese Kenon taught the photography lessons. Y-Press adult staff supported the teams while working in the neighborhood to find the best stories.

During the second week, youth teams used these newly developed skills to produce audio slideshows about businesses or individuals who benefit the neighborhood, such as the Shapiro’s Deli video (above).

You can watch the 10 additional audio slideshows here.

In advance of the camps, Y-Press journalists improved their photography skills in a workshop led by Freddi Steven-Jacobi. City Stories camp was hosted by two locations: North United Methodist Church at 38th and Meridian streets and West Indy’s Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center at 1920 West Morris Street. The camps were funded by the Summer Youth Program Fund, a collaborative effort among local and national funders who support summer programming for Marion County youth.

Check out an additional article about summer learning and City Stories on the What Kids Can Do website.