May 12, 2012

Hunts Point Middle Schools Complete Second Year of Virtue Foundation Digital Storytelling Initiative

HUNTS POINT, BRONX⎯The Hunts Point Alliance for Children collaborated with seventh and eighth graders at two local middle schools, MS 424 and Saint Ignatius School, to complete the year long Virtue Foundation Digital Storytelling Initiative that examines how students can impact their communities. During the year, the students participated in digital storytelling workshops and learned about philanthropy, community service and civic responsibility. Students used computers, cameras, and professional editing software donated to the schools by Virtue Foundation to document their feelings about neighborhood issues and their work to make a positive change.

Born in Louisiana in the aftermath of Katrina, the Virtue Foundation Digital Storytelling Initiative is designed to allow students to take advantage of our boundless digital world and encourage connections around meaningful topics in a personal way. Children are given the opportunity to engage with 21st century technology to tell their own stories of community service and the impact of giving back.

“This initiative builds upon Virtue Foundation’s past project successes toward providing a learning environment in which students are acquiring essential skills, engaging in community service, and feeling empowered to make a difference,” said Dr. Joseph Salim, Executive Director of Virtue Foundation. “Giving classrooms access to cutting-edge technology while encouraging children to tell their own stories of community service advances not only individual students but has the potential to transform communities.”

This year, students have built on the ideas that the students discussed in last year’s project. Students explored issues involving stray cats and dogs, negative graffiti messages and the impact of “tagging” and how young adults can be involved in protecting the environment. . “Incorporating exciting technology with student led civic engagement projects is a path to discover life long passions,” commented Maryann Hedaa, HPAC Managing Director.

Students documented their impressions as they raised money for a local ASPCA shelter, created tree guards to protect the trees in the neighborhood and worked to design and create a positive message through a mural at the entrance of the Hunts Point Middle School (MS 424).

To view this year’s videos, go to, where all of the student videos are available. For more information and to view last year’s videos, go to Walking through the neighborhood demonstrates the impact of the initiative throughout the community.

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