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Millhill’s DREAM! (Digital Recording & Editing for Artistic Media)

Millhill’s DREAM! (Digital Recording & Editing for Artistic Media)

Millhill Child & Family Development

Program Summary

Millhill’s mission is to empower children and families through individualized and culturally sensitive educational and behavioral health services, to transform our underserved and under-resourced community. Our long-term goal is to break the cycle of unrealized potential that plagues the Greater Trenton area of NJ. Since 2001, Millhill has implemented a teen mentorship, education and empowerment program entitled PEERS, (Performing, Educating & Engaging about Responsible Strategies). This summer, the PEERS program will embark on a new journey, a project to provide a voice to the members of its PEERS group as they will tell their individual stories and in the process, the participants will:
– Be exposed to the development of digital storytelling as an educational & promotional tool.
– Work toward the goal of obtaining and honing necessary skills to respectfully and safely engage in age appropriate social media activities such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, You Tube, Vimeo, Blogging and website development.
– Be exposed to the power of digital art making, obtain new skills and further expand career choices.
– Connect with youth peer groups across the country participating in similar programs.
– Participate in a Film Festival where digital stories produced will be screened to the public at a future Millhill’s PEERS event.


For the months of July through October 2013, the PEERS program will focus on further developing the technological and media skills necessary in order for all 24 teen participants to write, direct and produce individual and group digital stories of empowerment that will be utilized in the Trenton community and beyond. The project will be called DREAM (digital recording & editing for artistic media).

Millhill’s DREAM project will be implemented utilizing the following timeline:

JULY 2013: The essential equipment to produce and house the digital stories will be purchased upon grant notification and utilized by the participants weekly. Equipment needed: 3 MacBook Pro Apple Computers, 4 Apple i-Pads, Adobe Creative Suites Software and Microsoft Office Software.

AUGUST 2013: 24 PEERS participants will be afforded the opportunity to learn Digital Storytelling on a weekly basis from a local college professor and consultant who teaches Digital Storytelling during the regular academic year.

During the AUGUST 2013 sessions, the following skills will be instructed:
– Elements of a dynamic digital story
– How to map out digital stories using a storyboard template
– Introduction to iMovie software
– Elements of Digital Photography
– Transitioning images in a digital story
– Developing Text and Text Titles
– Adding royalty free audio components to each story
– Uploading finished stories to social media platforms
– How to safely engage the public with social media communication
– Preparation and planning for Fall Film Festival event

SEPTEMBER 2013, Digital Storytelling sessions continue, participants will work a minimum of 5 hours per week on the development of their story. A retreat will occur at the end of September where participants will be encouraged to collect images, video interviews and develop additional story ideas.

The final digital stories will be completed by the first week of OCTOBER 2013. A Film Festival event free and open to the public will take place at Rider University in late October. Parent and family members of PEERS participants, teachers, Millhill staff, community leaders, and the public at large will be invited to attend.

Engaged participation in the project will be required for continued participation in PEERS, but excellence is always encouraged. 85% of the 2013 PEERS made honor roll last semester. Our teens are taught to thoughtfully plan their high school careers to open as many doors as possible and this Digital Storytelling project will bring much needed technology and internet savvy skills to this under-resourced demographic. Several of the PEERS meetings are devoted to the science of learning and study, and this project expansion fits right in with programmatic and strategic goals. Participants will be assessed to determine what type of learners (kinesthetic, auditory, etc.) they are and then taught how this knowledge can help them maximize their learning. In addition, each PEERS participant will be given career aptitude assessments and encouraged to map out which courses will maximize the probability of college admittance. The success of this project will be tracked and data will be collected for up to 8 years following each participant’s graduation from the 2013 PEERS DREAM project.

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