While the year 2020 is not likely to be described as “picture perfect,” it did turn into a perfect picture project for our students. At Ánimo Jefferson Charter Middle School, students in Carl Finer’s investigative journalism course used their phone cameras to encapsulate their unique pandemic experiences. Several students published their in-depth and fascinating images on the Ánimo Jefferson’s student-run newspaper website, The Bulldog Bugle.
Finer has used his investigative journalism course to help students refine their writing, interviewing, and design skills.. “This is the first time I've tried to do something like this,” Finer said, reflecting on how the pandemic has impacted his students. “It just seemed like this was the perfect place to give them a chance to process some of the events that have happened in their lives. To not do this just seems like a lost opportunity,” he added.
For students, this assignment became an instantaneous outlet for creativity and expression. “When I first heard of the project, I was excited because I would be able to show my story of quarantine,” said Ederson Herrera, a student in Finer’s journalism class. Herrera took photos of his laptop for distance learning and his gaming console for entertainment. But he also took photos of his family, nature, and his new puppies. “My process was just to show the important parts and not like the small details of my life,” Herrera added.
Family was nearly a universal theme across these photos. Student Steven Flores said he was most excited about sharing a photo of his grandmother’s 83rd birthday. “This class has really impacted me,” Flores said. “It showed me how to express myself in a photo.”
At Green Dot, we prioritize building spaces for expression and discussion in our learning environments. The Bulldog Bugle is an excellent example of the co-curricular activities that our schools use to help our students refine their critical thinking.
The Bulldog Bugle is an excellent example of the co-curricular activities that our schools use to help our students refine their critical thinking. Through opportunities like this, we’re equipping our students with the skills necessary to be successful in college, leadership, and life.
You can visit The Bulldog Bugle to view all student photo submissions, and other content that Finer’s students have created.