Picture My World
FOR AT-RISK YOUTH
Since September 1997, the Palm Beach Photographic Centre’s “Picture My World” Program has served at-risk youth, ages 8 – 17, including some students who are under the supervision of the legal system due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. “Picture My World” teaches an appreciation of family and community, the development of self esteem, nonviolent means of expression, and personal responsibility.
“Picture My World” uses photography exploration combined with strategic journal writing curriculum to promote problem solving skills, and insight into community* interaction by creating awareness for each student that they are valued and that their voice can make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others. The intricate value of having a sense of community, from the close knit unit of people involved directly in students’ daily lives at home, to school & faith based local groups, nationally and even internationally. The bridge of connection is vital and fostered by each lesson plan and class discussion.
Program outcomes have shown that the controlled and directed use of photography and journal writing provides numerous therapeutic, social and career benefits, as well as helping these children to develop positive means of expression while improving academic skills.
Over a fourteen week period, children will gain broad experience and knowledge in many facets of photography, including:
- how to use a camera to capture the world around them and meaningful moments
- how photography can be also be a tool for creative self expression
- how to apply the latest in computer digital imaging technology to enhance photographic images and self expression
- how to look at and learn from photographs in a Museum setting
“Picture My World” Curriculum
- Weekly assignments – Specific assignments will challenge the students to capture the multifarious components of their lives, from home and school to friends and “family”.
- Challenging directives – To encourage spontaneity and fresh photographs, parameters will occasionally be set, such as “no formalized sports events” and no “staged or posed photographs.”
- Written journal – Teens will keep a running journal about experiences of taking these photographs, as well as the content of their images.
- Group discussions – When the images are developed and shared with the groups, the instructor will facilitate a discussion of image content and how the photographers feel about their images. Simple questions, such as “which is your favorite photograph? ” will prompt participants to consider their definitions of home, family and friends, and how their photographs illustrate their beliefs and feelings.
The participants best works will be kept in a portfolio format. And the students will compile their works in a special multimedia project called a visual diary. The instructor will introduce bookmaking as a form of creative self-expression. The books will include a series of photographs and optional written material that the teens believe best express their lives. These books will be displayed with culminating exhibitions curated, framed and matted by the teens which will take place in the Community Gallery at Palm Beach Photographic Centre and later at Juvenile Court.
“Picture My World” Support
Heartfelt thanks is given to our generous members, private donors, all the photographers who have donated to this program. To continue, this program needs your support. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to allow “PICTURE MY WORLD” to continue to provide a caring healthy path for our next generation of community adults.