Oakland Schools News: OUSD’s Youth Beat Students Create Music Video With Simple But Powerful Message for Protecting Oneself from COVID-19Oakland, CA – With schools remaining closed for the rest of this academic year, students have had to be very creative in completing their assignments, especially group projects. Some of OUSD’s most creative students take part in Youth Beat, the District’s multimedia program that teaches them how to be photographers, producers, reporters, documentarians, directors and artists. In this time of coronavirus, some Youth Beat students created an informative and fun music video that calls for viewers to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19 by taking simple steps.
“To finish this video while under the shelter in place order, our students used every tool in their collective toolbox,” said Jake Schoneker, Youth Beat Executive Director. “They had a vision, and while unable to work physically together, they were able to bring all the independent, and independently produced parts together to make a really fun and well-produced video. On top of that, it’s a great song, with a message that’s an important reminder for all of us. That is the genius of our Youth Beat students at work.”
It was a large crew that put the video together, and importantly, they all worked separately. The singer is Vince Vo from Oakland High School, and the director is Danielle Thompson, a graduate of MetWest High School. The producers are Aiden Thornton from Oakland Technical High School and Maddy Dittmer from Skyline High School. Jinkang Fang from Oakland High served as assistant director and the videographers are Chuyi Fang from Oakland High, Serina Grinage (a recent graduate from Oakland Tech), and James Palacios and Jared Medina from Skyline. The assistant editor was Olin Pritchard from Oakland Tech.
“Our students didn’t let anything stop them from being creative,” said Ramasses Head, a Youth Beat Teaching Artist and Fremont High School Media Academy alum who was the professional mentor for the film. “They broke out their own phones to make the video a reality and edited the project from home. Several students from different classes in our program created an Instagram group to plan the shoots and they pulled off a great project.”
Youth Beat serves hundreds of students every year, and is based at KDOL-TV, OUSD’s education access television station. All young people in Oakland are eligible to enroll in their free classes and after-school programs. Students can apply now for their free virtual multimedia summer camp this year at youthbeat.org/apply.
Youth Beat is currently offering free virtual classes daily, serving about 50 students. Students report their Youth Beat classes are helping them stay connected, motivated and creative while sheltering in place. “Oakland youth are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, in so many ways including financial burdens, gaps in education, limited access to technology, not to mention the emotional toll,” said Schoneker. “Making art is a proven way to relieve stress, especially as part of a creative community like ours. We hope by offering these online classes that we are able to help these talented young people connect, get creative, practice their skills and get a little peace of mind in this chaotic time. ”
As part of the teaching and learning model, Youth Beat hires out its services to the community to do a wide variety of video production, and audio and photography projects. If you or someone you know is in need of video or multimedia services, put Oakland youth on the job by hiring Youth Beat PRO! As an important part of our students’ educational careers, Youth Beat is always looking for community support. To donate to the program, please visit youthbeat.org/donate!
About the Oakland Unified School District
In California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 83 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success.
To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit OUSD.org and follow us @OUSDnews.