Lights, Camera, and Action!

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but students at South Mountain Middle School and Broughal Middle School are learning that videos are worth a million. Thanks to a partnership between Communities In Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania and PBS39/WLVT, an after-school hybrid Media Lab program is teaching students how to create modern, media-based productions.

South Mountain’s Celina Daddario, community school coordinator, and Jailin Benson, activities coordinator, were looking for new ways to engage with their students. In a stroke of luck, PBS39/WLVT reached out with a proposal for a collaborative program – the Media Lab.


The Media Lab will offer 10 students the opportunity to engage virtually on Zoom each Tuesday and Thursday. South Mountain students team up with 10 students participating at Bethlehem School District’s Broughal Middle School. The eight-week program immerses participants in pre-production, production, and post-production activities as they collaborate to create short films.


“Communities In Schools of Eastern PA is dedicated to inspiring lifelong learners and leaders. Jailin and I wanted to provide a program that facilitates students’ learning, collaboration, and imagination,” reflects Celina. “We’re grateful to work with PBS39 on such a fun and captivating initiative.”

Through the Media Lab, a filmmaking mentor from PBS39 advises student teams as they learn creative storytelling skills and tell their stories through sound and image. The classroom will be using an array of interactive tools, including screen shares, breakout rooms, and online digital tools as the students create “moving self-portraits''.


“Here at PBS39, we deeply believe that learning should be both fun and engaging, while also promoting stronger connections to our young learners and their families,” comments AJ Suero, Communications Director at PBS39. “We truly enjoy the opportunity to partner with Communities in Schools of Eastern PA through our Media Lab program and are thankful for their continued support.”

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