City View Kids

A couple of months ago, Regent Park Focus welcomed two students from City View Alternative elementary school in April. Geordie and Finlay chose to do their final video ISU project at Regent Park Focus. The young boys had 1 week to put together an amazing video presentation on a social justice issue. Time was limited so could they pull it off? On the first day staff member and video expert Emmanuel involved the boys in the entire project by teaching them about the background of Regent Park Focus and video camera techniques. This incorporated learning how to use the video camera, equipment, the various angles, positions, methods and a tour around the media studios. The boys took turns practicing what they learned and helped each other out. I also filled in as their subject when they were using the camera for a practice taping. The next day implicated jotting down ideas tossed in the air and it also involved brainstorming. Many topics were discussed such as; homelessness, racism and bullying. However, those topics were already taken by other groups and had been discussed previously in classes. The boys wanted to do a social issue that was different, challenging and current.

After a while of brainstorming, I suggested the topic of poverty in Canada. I gave them a background of how serious this topic is. The boys narrowed it down to an issue related to poverty which was, ‘The Welfare Rate in Ontario. The welfare system in Canada is a much debated topic. There are currently many Canadians living in poverty in Canada because they are living close to the low income cut off line. These people include immigrants and people who have lost their jobs. The two youth were really passionate about this topic and already had some background knowledge on the issue. Therefore, they felt that it was the best topic to do their ISU on.

We filmed some scenes to make clips for the video. In addition we got to know a little history about Regent Park community and what is happening presently as we went for a walk in the neighborhood. Time was limited so after a brief research on the topic, the boys, Emmanuel and myself thought of how the video was going to be presented. We felt that it would be great to hit up the busy hot spot that is Dundas Square and ask Torontonians questions which we thought of collectively. We hopped on the street car with the equipment and our questions. When we got to Dundas Square it was chaotic as usual so that meant we could easily find people who wanted to answer questions on camera right? Wrong. Finding people was not as simple as we thought it would be. Nonetheless, by working as a team, we were able to each find a good amount of diverse people to answer our questions and give their perspective, opinions and views on the social issue. Some people were really into the discussion and even gave us some tips on how to ask questions. We even got some Regent Park community members and former youth volunteers to be in the video. As we wrapped up filming, we noticed there was an event happening because there was a huge crowd of people with marijuana paraphernalia marching to Dundas Square. So, since we were already there, we were listening to some speeches and even did a few interviews with people for a future story in regards to, the legalization of marijuana in Canada.

The boys and Emmanuel went back to City View the next day to film an interview with their teacher who was very insightful on the issue. It was a great addition to the video. On the last day, we all watched what we had filmed and Emmanuel taught the boys how to edit the video. I think it was great that the boys had so much input into the video they created. Overall, it was a fun week and as a group, we each had a great learning and eventful experience. The boys from City View said they had a blast and unique experience. They believe their video is going to be the best. That is the impact Regent Park Focus likes to make.

The two youth are even planning on coming back to Regent Park Focus in the future to do their volunteer hours for school. This is what they had to say about their experience at Regent Park Focus:

Hi my names Finlay McNally
I went to Regent Park Focus as a school outreach. I was here for a short four days and I had a lot of fun! I made a video about welfare rates and poverty which I had been learning about in school. It was really fun and informative and I learned a lot about poverty and welfare rates and I also learned quite a few editing and camera tips and how to use Final Cut Pro. It was a really good time and I hope to come back next year for my community service hours I need to do for high school.

Hello my name is Geordie Huband
this week I went to regent park focus. It was with my school and I had never heard of this program. So when I walked in on Monday I was not expecting anything. Little did I know that a week of fun and excitement would be in front of me. The week started out where I learned about all the different camera and angles, and learned how to use us a cool program call final cut pro. We choose on that day that wee would make a video about poverty and welfare because it is such a big problem in this country. The next day we took to the streets to ask some random people what they tough of the issue. We had some really great answers and some not so great ones. On Wednesday we went to interview our expert who gave us some really good information. And the final day we put the whole thing together. It was a great time the friendly and kind staff here really helped me out to make our video. Overall this was a great 4 days but I wish it had been longer. If I ever get the opportunity to come back I will. Maybe for high school.
Thank you so much

~*Michele Peter*♥~

Youth Worker and Summer Program Coordinator
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