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Video-Link After School Program
Welcome to Video-Link, Community School District 10's Media Center! Our aim is to connect kids with new places and experiences and have fun and learn together through media.
Learn more about our program.

Students 'speak up'
with poetry

BRONX WRITES Once again, students from Video-Link have partnered with Thirteen/WNET New York, this time to celebrate the arts. Last month, kids from Middle School 391 in Bronx, NY School District Ten 'performed' their works of poetry in front of an audience in their first 'poetry slam.'
Click on a photo to view their Web poetry performances...

"The Art of the Poetry Slam"

What's a slam?
A poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. Established to stimulate public audiences to participate in poetry readings, the 'slam' has evolved into an international art form highlighting both audience involvement and poetic excellence.

Combining Performance Poetry with Technology:

In a 'techno twist' on the traditional poet-audience-in-the-coffee shop theme, this particular slam featured our students in MS 391 competing with students from MS 95, also in District Ten located several miles away via
teleconferencing. Each school is equipped with teleconferencing equipment which involves a high speed Internet line that sends the video and audio signals to each of the similarly equipped locations via remote controlled cameras and wireless microphones. Students and their classmates appear on a three-way split screen: one side of the TV monitor shows the competition, and the other side in another location across town, the judges evaluate the student performances. The individual performer is seen on the lower right of the screen.

Display on the teleconferencing
monitor. Each school sees similar

Innovation Creates Interest in the Classroom:

If it all sounds high tech, it is! District Technology Director Maria Fico is actively involved in coordinating the poetry slams in conjunction with Geri Hayes, the Cultural Arts Director for District Ten.

Always seeking innovative ways in which to link students using this technology, benefits of teleconferencing include:

  • The time factor: not having to spend more than the allotted class time traveling from place to place
  • Allows for many groups to congregate with minimum time commitment
  • Gives students greater access to experts
  • Immediacy

Also partnering in this effort is Dreamyard, an arts organization in one of many of their arts related collaborations with our district's schools. Dreamyard really understands the culture and pedagogical philosopy of the schools in our community and has woven the arts into the fabric of the schools they work with. Fordham University's RETC (Regional Educational Technology Center) provides technology assistance.

Competition Just For the Fun of It

According to the students participating, 'Slam' performance poetry is so much fun to compete in. Students felt challenged, and though this group was disappointed with the outcome (their school group lost by three points!), all felt excited enough to want to write and perform poetry in the future. Their disappointment allowed for a group discussion surrounding fairness, teamwork and the belief that improvement was necessary in their future efforts...

Take a look at this video clip in which students speak about their experience.

You will need the real player to view this and other videos on this site. Click here to get the player.

About Video-Link...

To create an awareness of the ever-growing impact of media, our program focuses on media literacy and production. Students create TV commercials, public service announcements, news programs, documentaries, and other projects which encourage them to think, plan, research, and write. These same projects are also used to develop a critical sense of how media impact us in our daily lives.

Our beautiful new facilities at the District 10 Media Center feature a state-of-the art television studio complete with digital editing and student computer workstations. By using these emerging digital tools, our students will gain the technology skills necessary to find and use information, solve problems, communicate with others, and meet a growing demand for these skills in their future.

To contact us our email address is mail@videolink-kids.org
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