Thirteen middle school students from Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto spent 10 weeks this fall working with volunteers from Hewlett Packard and staff from Citizen Schools to discover photography. For most students this was their first experience holding a camera, conducting photo shoots and working with professional photographers.
The resulting photographs were displayed in The Power of Photography:Images That Matter exhibit last week at St. Francis of Assisi Church, just down the street from the Academy.
Seventh grader Miguel Antolin (pictured top) said that taking photography was just one of choices offered him. “To me it was the best,” he added. “I took the photo of the car because it was so beautiful and shiny.”
Jazmin Orozco (pictured below), a sixth grader, was particularly pleased with her photograph of a flower “because you can see a face in it.”
Explains material provided by Citizen School, which partners with middle schools and districts to extend the learning day: “The project was designed to help students develop a new way of seeing and expressing issues that matter to the through photography…Students learned about photography techniques, the art of photography, and the different purposes of capturing images. The studio format of the apprenticeship provided authentic, hands-on opportunities for students to learn, explore, collaborate and express themselves.”
Printed copies and digital downloads of the photographs can be ordered online. Net proceeds benefit future Citizen School apprenticeships.
Photos by Irene Searles