Media & Communication Department
Writing and Media Production at "Just for Kids"
I began volunteering at an Allentown after-school program, Just
for Kids, in my sophomore year while taking Documentary Research.
My work has continued up through the current semester. During Documentary
Research, I became concerned with the corporate interests that are
encroaching upon education and that treat youth as passive consumers
instead of active citizens. Exploring this subject, I decided that
I wanted to implement a writing program at JFK that would help the
youth to find an active voice in their immediate community. This
community included their peers, the Muhlenberg volunteers, and other
adult volunteers from the Church of the Mediator where the program
was held. Whether commercial passivity was at work or not (for I
found many other factors that could have been at work), "middle
school" age youth often did (and do) not actively speak out
in their community. My goal was to help them speak out through the
development of a newsletter that was written by the youth with assistance
from other volunteers and me. This project closely connected to
the aims of social justice, because it taught the youth that what
they had to say in their community did (and does) matter. Teaching
youth to have a voice in their community is essential for instilling
democratic ideals in the next generation. In my presentation, I
will also briefly talk about my continuing work at JFK. This semester
I am in the process of developing a "JFK talent CD" in
which the youth will have a chance to record their own talents (e.g.
singing, spoken word poetry or stories).