Some of our most innovative California school districts are implementing an exciting and creative way to improve their students’ reading and writing skills… filmmaking. These school districts are giving children the opportunity to tell their stories, and the success of the program has been overwhelming. The participants, mostly 4th graders, have shown marked improvement across the board from reading and writing, science to attendance and increased self-confidence.
The curriculum takes these 4th grade students through a graduate level film school program. The children write a screenplay, choose one script to film, then work together as editors, actors and directors until the film is completed. The process takes one school year. The program was initially launched at 2 school districts on 5 different school sites and has now expanded to 11 school districts, covering 23 classrooms.
The program is the work and inspiration of actor, director and philanthropist, Edward James Olmos. Mr. Olmos a founder of the Latino Film Institute (LFI) and in 2013 launched the Youth Cinema Project (LFIYCP). Managing Partner Bonifacio Bonny Garcia and Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP have been leading supporters of our client, LFIYCP, and we are proud of the important strides they are making in the field of public education.
And the program has outstanding feedback from the community…
The Lynwood Unified School District, one of the districts still testing the program, conducted a participant assessment and it shows student reading and writing proficiency in the program has doubled.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, which is considering adding the program during the 2016-17 school year, believes the LFIYCP may be the most dynamic English language learning tools they have ever seen.
The California Endowment supports the work of the LFIYCP saying the social and emotional empowerment in the classroom is providing “a public health benefit to the communities.”
ELZ, a nationally syndicated program on the LATV Network about the Latino experience on American Culture, has taken notice. ELZ interviews Mr. Olmos, Mr. Garcia as well as Susana Smith, Montebello Unified School District Superintendent, and Alexander Rojas, Basset Unified School District Superintendent. Montebello and Basset were two of the first districts to participate in the LFIYCP. Click here to watch a preview of the interview on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIwpIXTnRxg&feature=youtu.be