Writopia. Sure sounds like a harmonious and creative place to visit! Fortunately, for Montclare Children’s School, Writopia Lab has come to visit us – and the best news is, they’re going to stay a while!
Montclare parents, Rebecca Wallace-Segall (Executive Director and founder of Writopia in 2007) and Jeremy Wallace-Segall (Chief Operating Officer) have poured their hearts and souls into making Writopia the “#1 writing program in the city” according to The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. This multiple-award winning, non-profit organization offers a broad assortment of creative writing workshops, primarily for children ages six to eighteen, at its numerous locations which include a very local Upper West Side site. Writopia Lab boasts an impressive staff comprised of published authors, trained in the Writopia Lab writing methodology.
At Montclare, a small group of children from the Red Room was selected to pilot an inspired story-telling/filmmaking project. Over the course of four, one-hour-long sessions, the children were taught the mechanics of story, played the game C.O.W. (Character, Obstacle, Want), drew self-portraits in the art room, and developed their personal narratives. Experimenting with iPads and video cameras, both handheld and on tripods, the children enjoyed getting in touch with their inner-filmmakers!
As Writopia Program Coordinator and Instructor, Eunju Namkung wrote, “It was beautiful to see how the girls started to take control of directing, positioning the camera and tripod, and playing in front of the camera.” Eunju reported that the children’s storytelling and imaginations resulted in high energy creativity, helping prepare them to tell their own stories.
Our eager student filmmakers were “ready for their close-ups,” as they learned how to stop and start recording, zoom in and out; with an overall goal of the pilot program being to foster and develop:
- Innovative exploration and facility with Technology
- Narrative Building
- Language Development and Early Literacy
- Individual Artistic Vision
- Patience, Collaboration, Support & Affection
We are thrilled that Writopia Lab will be returning in the fall to expand this offering to all of our 4s students! We hope you enjoy this brief documentary that was filmed both by Writopia Staff and our students.