Back to School With a Dramatic Flair

Sep 2, 2011 10:57 AM ET
Press Release

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) September 2, 2011 - Classrooms in New York City and St. Lucia will be full of drama this year – the good kind of drama that is.

Eight teachers from six schools, four in New York and two in St. Lucia, are working with their students to launch the third year of My School – My Community, a classroom-based Entertainment-Education program that directly and actively engages students in making decisions about their school tone and culture.  Entertainment-Education programs incorporate informational messages into entertaining media to simultaneously educate and amuse audiences.
During the school year, students that participate in the program learn how to write, produce and broadcast an Entertainment-Education serial drama, interactive talk show and school-wide mobilization campaign. Through hands-on exploration, students effectively use these storytelling and media tools to engage with parents, teachers and administration to catalyze change in their school and surrounding community.   
“My School - My Community has taught the scholars in my school that if we want something for our school we have to do it ourselves,” said Taylor, an 8th grader at the Urban Assembly Academy for Civic Engagement. “We were all very dedicated and had a lot of fun learning how we can be leaders.”
The 2011-2012 program launched at a workshop last week in New York City. At the workshop, the teachers who will be implementing the program at their schools met for three days to learn Media Impact’s My Community methodology and explore how it will be incorporated into the classroom.
“We are so excited to be here with you today,” said Media Impact Executive Director, Sean Southey, in his welcome. “Over the next year, you will ignite a process that will transform the lives of your students, and the culture of your school.”
The first two years of the program generated significant, positive impacts for both students and teachers.  Specifically, the program encourages in students a sense of ownership over their school environment.
Christine Panetta, an award winning teacher who led the program at her school for two years, reported improved writing and critical thinking skills among the students who participated in the My School – My Community program.
“This isn’t just any learning, but a learning that [students] can carry over into so many other aspects of their life. Also, it makes them feel good and that they are appreciated in their school,” she said.
For 25 years, Media Impact has trained partners around the world to use Entertainment-Education to address critical social and environmental issues in their communities.  Entertainment-Education (E-E) incorporates vital information into entertaining media programs to simultaneously educate and amuse audiences. The non-profit organization has helped produce more than 100 such programs to address critical health and environmental issues and empower communities. To read more, please visit our website.
For more about My School - My Comunity, please click here.
For a student account of the program, please click here.


Lindsey Wahlstrom
PCI-Media Impact