Primero secondary English teacher Patricia Johnson is collaborating with local photographer and publisher Steve Wharton, to offer a new media arts club for middle school students to learn the basics of the craft through real-life projects.
Johnson and Wharton began to work together in October, utilizing media equipment that was purchased last spring under the umbrella of Primero’s 21st Century Grant program. This fall, the duo has been training middle school students on Friday mornings on the basics of media arts, including photography and video journalism.
“Steve provides the professional training, and I supply the twice-weekly time in the studio for trained students to work,” said Johnson. “We have plans to assist faculty and students with video, photography, and print help throughout the year.”
Thus far, the students have created a promotional video about the media club, which Johnson has posted on her YouTube channel. Club members are also working on a promotional video for the upcoming middle school basketball tournament to be held at Primero in January. Long term, one of the goals of the club is for students to produce the school newspaper.
Primero middle school students involved thus far in the media club include Megan Hebert, RaLei Vasquez, Julena Lopez, and Aedin Borja. “We expect the club to grow as we move forward,” said Johnson. “We have plans for podcasts, videos, and more. I hope to expand the studio and media club to a couple of nights per week, in addition to the Friday times, in the near future.”
“I’ve done some programs like this with students before,” said Wharton, owner of New Legends Productions, “and I’m always amazed at the students’ creativity and energy. The Primero students are off to a good start. They will just keep getting better. People are already impressed with their work, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The program takes three to four years to mature; so come back in three-four years, and see what these kids are doing.”