Muskegon County youth experience hands-on digital storytelling workshop

Storytelling is an in-demand communication skill for 21st-century careers across all disciplines and industries.

A collaboration between Mosaic Film Experience and Pathfinders of Muskegon provided 25 Muskegon County students with an introduction to the art and science of digital storytelling. 

“Students are digital natives, and storytelling can be a practical way to bridge classroom learning and real-world experiences,” says Skot Welch, founder of Mosaic Film Experience.

Half-day workshop

Led by Mosaic education leads Mallory and Randy Strobl, the half-day workshop at Temple United Methodist Church, 2500 Jefferson St. in Muskegon Heights, introduced students to the language, process, and techniques of digital content creation.

The halfday workshop was taught by Mosaic education leads Mallory and Randy Strobl. (Pathfinders of Muskegon)

As Pathfinders looked to expand their summer program to include filmmaking as a creative option, they reached out to the local grassroots organization Muskegon Heights Coalition for Community Development (MHCCD), which in turn connected them to Mosaic. 

MHCCD and Mosaic previously teamed up on digital storytelling classes with the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District. Working together, Mosaic tailored a workshop to best fit Pathfinders’ program needs.

Pathfinders expanded its programing to include filmmaking as a creative option. (Pathfinders of Muskegon)

“Our goal is to inspire the next generation of storytellers to embrace the medium of digital storytelling to own their narratives and further connect with creative outlets,” Mallory Strobl says.

Teams of students experienced hands-on education about media literacy and how to plan and create videos, which included story ideation, outlining, storyboarding, and filming.

Engage, empower, motivate

Pathfinders of Muskegon is a community-based youth center whose goal is to engage, empower, and motivate youth in Muskegon to be future leaders. It incorporates social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and creative expression to give youth a voice in their community.

Teams of students experienced hands-on education about media literacy. (Pathfinders of Muskegon)

“I enjoyed watching the workshop unfold,” says Shauna Hunter, executive director at Pathfinders. “I was impressed with how the Mosaic Film Experience had students of all backgrounds so involved and interested in the process. Our participants are diverse; most are minorities, specifically BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), and live within the inner-city communities of Muskegon County, many are LGBTQIA. Learning how to use digital filmmaking to tell their own stories is an important opportunity for the students.”

The Pathfinders of Muskegon students ranged from sixth through 12th grades. Pathfinders is an independent youth center that serves youth from across the county and its school districts, including Muskegon Heights Public Academy, Muskegon Public Schools, Orchard View Public Schools, and Mona Shores Public Schools.

The Pathfinders of Muskegon students ranged from sixth through 12th grades. (Pathfinders of Muskegon)

“The Mosaic Film Experience not only has the expertise, but they also put so much heart and soul into the program and their teaching methods, which is evident in the students’ smiles,” says Kerri VanderHoff, executive director of MHCCD. 

“We’re excited to find additional ways to partner with the Mosaic Film Experience and Pathfinders of Muskegon to share the skills and impact of digital storytelling with youth in our community.”

 

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.