youth

Digital Expansion Initiative Program Developer

Organization: 
People's Production House
VISTA Name: 
Kristofer Rios
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2010
Project Description: 

PPH has three major projects: Radio Rootz, which teaches classes in radio journalism and media literacy in public schools; the Community News Production Institute (CNPI), which trains low wage and immigrant workers as radio journalists; and our Digital Expansion Initiative, which works to educate and organize the public around access to digital technology. We build media organizers: media literate youth and workers who can create and demand a media system that works in their interests.

This position is part of the Digital Expansion Initiative. For 2008 to 2009, the CTC Vista participant will
• formalize our Digital Expansion curriculum and conduct educational workshops for community organizations and public school classes throughout New York City;
• work with the Digital Expansion team to analyze data from our surveys and interviews;
• conduct original research into the state of Internet access in New York City and train others to do the same;
• record, edit, and produce radio journalism and train others to do the same;
• review and compile new research and articles related to Internet access and Internet policy.

Project Outcome: 

This year, Kristofer took the lead in developing and formalizing the curriculum for our youth-led policy program, the Digital Expansion Fellowship (DEF). After taking feedback and evaluations from our first DEF summer project, Kristofer redesigned the summer curriculum into a full 8-week summer course for a new round of fellows. The new curriculum is a comprehensive training in media policy research; combing basics in digital journalism and an introduction to policy analysis. This summer the fellows used their newly acquired digital reporting skills to examined mobile broadband and cellphone policy from a community perspective. They produced a news feature looking at how a proposed bill requiring ID for prepaid cellphones would impact low income and immigrant communities. They also produced four cell phone literacy workshops that will be included in a collaborative tool kit project focused on expanding cell phone literacy.

People’s Production House proposed a large community media network project during the second application round of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program. Our proposal brought together 21 New York City community organizations to imagine a constellation of community media centers across New York that would work as media production centers for a community news outlet. Kristofer was the main outreach organizer for this application. He helped recruit many of the organizations to the project proposal and coordinated a lot of the application process with the groups. While we weren’t awarded our BTOP grant, the organizing provided us with an opportunity to advance our goal of strengthening our community media network. We are taking the momentum from our BTOP organizing to develop a New York City Digital Justice Coalition. Throughout the year, Kristofer also engaged with other community media organizations to share or work, exchange ideas, and collaborate on larger national projects.

One of the goals that Kristofer set for him self was to help us develop workshops and training materials in Spanish. Kristofer lead our first Spanish language community journalism training in his first year as a VISTA and he wanted to take it further by developing media literacy tools that could accompany the trainings. This year Kristofer helped organize the first Spanish language track at the 2010 Allied Media Conference. In developing the Spanish language track, Kristofer engaged some organizations that serve the Spanish speaking in New York, helping to develop Spanish language community reporters.

In addition to the work completed in our project proposal, Kristofer also helped refine our 12-week media community journalism training curriculum. The curriculum needed an upgraded and he assisted with the process. Kristofer also helped strengthen ties to partner organizations through his involvement in organizing the Allied Media Conference and his participation in the Media Action Grassroots Network. Through these conferences and networks, Kristofer has helped facilitate projects on a national scope, including our upcoming Cellphone Literacy Toolkit, which is a collaboration between allies in New Mexico, California, and New York.

Youth Education Organizer

VISTA Name: 
Carrie Cook
Program Start: 
1/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Our AmeriCorps*VISTA member will help develop capacity for CDS ongoing educational work with classroom-based and after-school programs serving low income communities nationally and in the Bay Area and nationally. Some of their tasks will include:

a)Building the online capacity for workshops for CDS’ after school work in StoryMapping (see storymapping.org),

b)helping to develop the Youth Digital Storytelling Cookbook, handouts and curriculum materials, and

c)developing curriculum with workshops in collaboration with youth afterschool organizations emphasizing literacy, writing and technology including 826Valencia/826National and Youth Speaks.

Project Outcome: 

Carrie Cook Carrie has focused on developing our internal systems that support expanding services to low-income individuals. She has developed our tutorial for embedding digital stories in community maps and assisted with the development of digital stories for a Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based project supporting residents of low-income housing. She has also been involved with developing outreach materials for the silence speaks project and a blog for educators who are implementing skills learned in our workshops in their classrooms. The blog will allow them to more effectively utilize digital storytelling with their stories. In addition, she supported website development and local event organizing for the International Day for Telling Life Stories. She will also participate in strengthening our internal digital story archiving system.

Impact Quote: 

Both Carrie and Laura have demonstrated a collaborative spirit and have used their technical expertise to support our organization’s mission. In particular, their knowledge of Web 2.0 technologies is an asset to an organization in which staff have differing levels of experience with both newer web technologies. They are both invaluable in terms of training staff in how to use the technology and being able to offer ideas about the potential of the technology for improving our services. […] Carrie has utilized the knowledge base with which she came to CDS to strengthen our program structures and increase our resources and the effectiveness of our programs. She has been especially helpful in setting up new computers, creating a ‘storywalk’ tutorial and supporting the development of outreach materials.”
- Andrea Spagat, supervisor

Online Marketing and Outreach Development

VISTA Name: 
Joseph Crugnale
Program Start: 
7/2009
Program End: 
7/2010
Project Description: 

We would like to host a VISTA member who will develop effective social media communication that will support and complement A-VOYCE’s existing communications and outreach structure. The VISTA member will primarily be responsible developing our use of social media tools such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, wikis, for publicity, marketing, and fundraising purposes. The VISTA will develop training material for youth and staff on blogging, podcasting, digital and social media. ACDC needs to capitalize on social networking media and build our organizational capacity through increased use of technology-enabled venues.

Goal: To create and implement a web-based marketing and outreach strategy for ACDC and A-VOYCE youth development program in order to maximize the program’s outreach and fundraising capacity

Project Outcome: 

One of my main tasks is putting together our Annual Report. One of the more interesting elements of the report has been coordinating Chinese translations that accurately capture our programs; luckily there are staff members here who are able to help out with this.

The power of Facebook, Twitter, and many other forms of social media continue to fascinate me. We have some really innovative urban planning, human development, and youth-based programs which I think have great potential to be marketed using social media. It will be a good experiment to see just what is possible using these up and coming tools.

I have been able to apply my IST monies towards an accounting class. While at first glace an accounting class may not seem relevant to my marketing and communications work, it has been beneficial as I am gaining a greater understanding of how my organization operates. Additionally, it has helped me draft the important financial sections of our annual report, and compile content for charity rating websites which closely examine non-profit finances.

Online Outreach and CTC Implementation

VISTA Name: 
Rachel Rose Sandow
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

This project grew out of a strategic assessment and will improve communication with collaborative partners, constituents and improve the utilization of an existing organizational resource. There will be three components:

Development of sustainable communications strategies: E-newletter - To communicate with supporters, collaborators and constituents on a regular basis. The development of an agency brochure and template that can be updated or reused for new programs.

Web-site: To up-grade and improve web-site with information and links to Southeast Asian resources for adults and youth. To provide detail about accessing basic services that supports the work of SEDC’s case managers and links Southeast Asian communities nationally.

Computer Lab: An underutilized resource, provide technical support, develop policies for use and maintenance. Research opportunities for free and low-cost software. Solicit college student volunteer to staff computer lab and work with clients.

Goal 1: Improve communications with constituencies
Goal 2: Re-open Computer Lab

Project Outcome: 

The VISTA member worked along with SEDC staff to improve communication and collaboration throughout the agency. She developed a sustainable communications strategies, including starting up SEDC Web-site and maintained the site throughout. She interviewed staff and wrote the contents for the web. She established newsletter and distributed widely in the community. She also assisted in setting up computer lab for after school children to use. She spearheaded on all of these projects by collaborating with SEDC staff. The projects that she worked on are still active and we hope to continue it for many more years.

Youth Community Technology Program Development

VISTA Name: 
Molly Szymanski
Program Start: 
8/2005
Program End: 
8/2006
Project Description: 

Molly will work with the Youth Community Technology Program (YCTP) a youth project within the Korean American Community Services Community Education Department serving at-risk youth ages 17-21 through technical instruction and holistic services. In Particular, Molly will help develop a sustainable system of outreach for you youth technology program students and volunteers (guest speakers, field trip sites, etc), will assist with program activities, will research information around issues of the digital divide to create a program Statement of Need for use in grant writing and will research possible funding streams for the programs.

Outreach and Web Development Specialist

VISTA Name: 
Christy Park
Program Start: 
1/2005
Program End: 
1/2006
Project Description: 

The VISTA worker at SCAT would spearhead the effort to more fully integrate web-based services into SCAT’s operations. For example, we would like to provide an interactive program schedule on the Website, and provide producers with the option to archive their programs on our website to allow for video-on-demand. The VISTA would also help us transition to wireless connections for all our office computers.

The VISTA would work with local non-profit organizations on outreach projects, both in video and on the Web. The VISTA would train staff and members in video and web design skills.

Project Outcome: 

Christy helped out with programing, including a monthly show called Talking About Somerville. She set up the lighting and manned (womanned) a camera and then edited the peice together putting titles and credits and music to it.

Christy attends local events around Boston interviewing and filming the community. She is currently working with one of our interns to start a show about the “issues” facing artists in somerville. She is hoping that anything from the cost of studio space to art education in public schools will be addressed. She has met with the host of another art show we do at SCAT to discuss the format of the show.

Christy is also teaching digital media courses to youth including a class on audio recording and garage band and a program called “Say Media!” where youth create music videos, PSAs, and documentaries.

Christy told us, “I have really enjoyed working with all of them. Some of them have really gotten into their projects and will stay several hours after the camp is through to finish up. they are pretty motivated (they should be, they get paid more than i do to teach, just to show up :) and they are producing some really neat youth media that will appear on our station.”

CTC Youth Program Building

Organization: 
Friends of Tyler School
VISTA Name: 
Emily Fain
Program Start: 
8/2003
Program End: 
8/2004
Project Description: 

I. Maintain, organize and continue to upgrade program site

II. Implement an after-school computer literacy program for students

III. Help plan and implement a summer six-week academic day camp: Camp Cool

IV. Train FOTS Teachers, Tutors and Parents To More effectively Use CTC Educational Software

V. Train parents of FOTS students and other adult family members

VI. Develop public and private sector resources that will enable the project to continue after the Members leave.

VII. Manage donations to and from FOTS and other organizations

Project Outcome: 

Thirteen computers donated last summer and fall are to be used to replace older equipment. As of early March, eight new computers had been placed in the CTC and work was almost completed on setting them up for class use. The remaining five will replace older computers in the secondary labs; this work will begin when the CTC work is completed. Work has begun on 10 computers in the new FOTS building. Five of the Win98 computers from the CTC replaced older computers in the secondary lab on the ground floor, which is used as a homework center after school.

The VISTA helped the Program Director develop a schedule of after-school classes for the first and second semesters of this school year. Software was widely used in teaching academic classes

Open Lab was available every afternoon during the first semester and was supervised by the VISTA. There were no Open Lab activities offered. A few students used this time to complete their homework assignments.

A volunteer continued her third year of teaching Lego Robotics. The fall group prepared for and competed in the Virginia Lego Robotics competition in November.

Training/orientation of tutors to FOTS educational software has been postponed. Tutors will be encouraged to use this system to check out software and use programs to supplement their tutoring sessions.

A large TV monitor was placed in a small classroom with a computer and is currently being used by one teacher to help teach her class using a software program.

New grant possibilities identified by CTCnet were sent to the FOTS fundraisers, Kelly Williams and Ann Womeldorf to research in further detail.

Oregon Learning Lab Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
Portland Community Media
VISTA Name: 
Ryn Shane-Armstrong
Program Start: 
9/2005
Program End: 
9/2006
Project Description: 

Ryn will participate in OLLIE productions as a trainer, work with community partners to plan successful OLLIE projects and events, and develop youth outreach and education efforts of Portland Community Media and Multnomah Community Television.

Project Outcome: 

In the past six months, OLLIE has provided digital media training to over 150 youth through 17 projects at 11 community locations. In addition, OLLIE has scheduled projects to serve an additional 180 youth over the next six months. Each round of OLLIE projects has balanced new and returning community partners. Our VISTA has served as a group coordinator for many of these sites, facilitating communication between the OLLIE staff and volunteers, the OLLIE coordinator, and community partners. Ryn has also begun to identify volunteers to support this project. He identified the post-production talents of a community partner and utilized them to finish a student project.

In addition, OLLIE’s curriculum design has evolved. Based on participant feedback, trainer input, and research into youth media best practices; the teaching methods, practice exercises, and time allotments for each segment of production have changed to better serve the youth we work with. Ryn’s insights about classroom teaching experiences and research into youth media curriculum are of great value to this process. I am looking forward to further utilizing Ryn’s expertise to design and implement our summer intensive “Adventures in Television”sessions. He is one of the leads for this project.

A very exciting part of OLLIE’s evolution is the creation and implementation of a graphic design identity package. Ryn has served as a lead contact in the process of recruiting and hiring a designer, developing a logo, and working with vendors. Currently Ryn is leading efforts to develop and refine copy that will promote the program in print, web, and video materials. Ryn also was able to develop his web design skills to create a first draft of a website for OLLIE: www.ollietv.org. Behind the scenes, he has created extensive outlines for future implementations of a site that will be useful to project staff, community partners, and program participants.

Impact Quote: 

An amazing thing about Ryn is the way in which he integrated himself into the media center community. He put himself ‘out there’ as willing to help, learn, and volunteer on his own time to help others and make the media center a better place. He has organized the staff on more than one occasion to attend cultural events and support each other. He is an exceptional asset to the Oregon Learning Lab for Information Education.

Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
HOME Inc.
VISTA Name: 
Dean Gransar
Program Start: 
9/2005
Program End: 
9/2006
Project Description: 

The CTC Project Assistant/VISTA will work with the administrators at each of the school and after school programs to help develop the in-school and after school network of teachers, parents and mentors that can provide support to the students utilizing the media lab. This will include developing events, committees, guest speakers and other outreach initiatives that will help publicize the community media lab, and help to identify and work with community partners who can take advantage of the media lab and reach more young people.

Project Outcome: 

Dean has been very attentive and invested in our mission and our work. He has built a strong base of support with teachers and administrators at the Social Justice Academy. This has allowed the school to build our program into their after school program and to help to build the connections with teachers that is needed to truly customize our work with young people during after school. This is a very important contribution.

This year we had a number of major accomplishments including establishing a new media lab at the Social Justice Academy and a new media and technology curriculum called Mosaic at the Social Justice Academy that uses storytelling to connect different academic disciplines. Mosaic started as an after school program and was so well received that students were given academic credit for their participation. Eight students completed the curriculum. Dean worked extensively on the Mosaic Curriculum and did outreach at the school by making ” Mosaic” presentations in classes during regular school hours. Dean also was in charge of our e-newsletter and built the circulation from 1,000 to nearly 4,000.

After School Youth Media Program Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Taylor Hales
Program Start: 
8/2005
Program End: 
8/2006
Project Description: 

The After School Youth Media Program Coordinator will be responsible for designing and administering after school and summer technology and academic activities at Northwest Tower in 2005-2006. They will be responsible for creating fun, enriching and engaging activities with youth that introduce them to new academic concepts and provide creative outlets for self expression with a focus on using the digital tools we have at our disposal in our lab. Activities will be directed at both youth in grades K-8 and teenagers.

Project Outcome: 

Our project accomplishments were exceptional– Taylor helped NTRC to create a solid multi-media program for youth at its Northwest Tower site, and to expand our reach into a local high school, Michelle Clark. We implemented a Hip Hop Club at Northwest Tower, where Taylor has helped to develop a digital audio and literacy curriculum, and an Apprenticeship in collaboration with After School Matters at Michelle Clark High, where Taylor designed a curriculum around digital video production.

Impact Quote: 

Our community has benefitted greatly from our VISTA. They have come to know and trust Taylor and learned from his own skills how to employ digital technology tools to pursue their creative endeavors and develop their talent. We will continue to work with him in this capacity, as he has become a valuable part of our team.

Transmission Project