It can be tough for kids to talk to parents. So they're putting their stories onto film.
True
State Farm

As Will Smith once said: Parents just don't understand.

Sometimes, it’s just hard to tell your parents things, and most kids struggle with finding ways to express themselves as a result.

But just because kids talk less sometimes doesn’t mean they don’t have stories to tell.


If anything, kids and teens are in the story-filled prime of their lives. They don’t just grapple with friends and family, relationships, gossip, school, and work — kids are also privy to conflicts of race, gender, sex, class, and other issues. It’s a complicated world out there, and kids know it.

That’s why re:imagine/ATL is giving them the tools they need to tell those stories in a powerful, and sometimes more comfortable, way. By equipping kids with film skills, re:imagine/ATL is handing them the mic — and letting them tell their own stories and make themselves heard.

Hear from the kids themselves how learning to film stories is changing their lives:

This group is teaching kids the skills they need to tell the stories of their communities through film.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, September 11, 2017

When it comes to storytelling, everyone is on an equal playing field — which means that more diverse, more interesting perspectives have an opportunity to be heard.

As the program's founder Susanna Spiccia says, "Creativity — it doesn't discriminate."

For kids who are marginalized, that makes creativity a lifeline. Helping kids find a way to tell their stories doesn't just result in good stories, it also results in empowered kids.

At re:imagine/ATL, kids are pitching films focused on just about everything. Taj-Malik is telling "stories about [his] childhood," while Kalyn is addressing "how it's a little bit harder to do things when you're a girl."

Chris is pitching "a motivational piece," and Baldwin has ideas for "horror, drama, romance, comedy, action." For him and the rest of the kids at re:imagine/ATL, the sky is the limit.

There are lots of reasons it’s important to let kids tell their story their own way.

Society is biased when it comes to listening to grown-ups more than kids. Even stories about kids’ lives end up being told by adults. Remember the movie "Boyhood"? It was all about the experience of being a boy. And, yet, it was written and directed by a 42-year-old man.

Where are the stories about kids, told by kids?

When we hand kids the camera, there's no telling what they'll come up with. As volunteer Lisa Cunningham says, "We could be in camp with the next Spielberg."

The problem goes beyond just craving authentic storytelling. Too often, policy that applies to kids is debated and decided on by committees of adults. When kids are given a platform to voice the issues that affect them most, they’re able to be heard by the people who make the decisions that affect them.

But getting film experience is more than just a platform for telling stories. It’s also a huge leg up in a competitive industry.

In Atlanta, where the film and television industry is growing rapidly, kids who invest their interest in learning camera techniques early could see it pay off professionally down the road.

Normally, internships and entry-level jobs are slanted toward students with a hefty amount of privilege. But with re:imagine/ATL, kids from all sorts of backgrounds have the opportunity to get practical hands-on experience that could be the thing that becomes their foot in the door to a successful future.

That's something that doesn't need to be limited to Atlanta. As Spiccia says, "If you are in the film industry or you're in media period, you have a skillset that you can give back to our kids."

In any town, professionals have an opportunity to be a good neighbor to the younger generation, by passing on their experiences to kids who can then turn them into major opportunities.

And as the city of Atlanta proves, that’s a great thing for communities.

Empowering Atlanta's kids with film skills is an act that has powerful ripple effects. Not only does it set up a big portion of this generation for success, but it also allows them to go on to become mentors to other kids too.

Plus, you never know — the next huge thing in Hollywood could be something that was made right here in Atlanta.

via USO

Army Capt. Justin Meredith used the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program to read to his son and family while deployed in the Middle East.

True

One of the biggest challenges deployed service members face is the feeling of being separated from their families, especially when they have children. It's also very stressful for children to be away from parents who are deployed for long periods of time.

For the past four years, the USO has brought deployed service members and their families closer through a wonderful program that allows them to read together. The Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program gives deployed service members the ability to choose a book, read it on camera, then send both the recording and book to their child.

Keep Reading Show less

Cayce LaCorte explains why virginity doesn't exist.

The concept of virginity is a very loaded issue in American culture. If a woman loses hers when she's too young she can be slut-shamed. If a man remains a virgin for too long, he can be bullied for not being manly enough.

There is also a whole slew of religious mind games associated with virginity that can give people some serious psychological problems associated with sex.

Losing one's virginity has also been blown up way beyond proportion. It's often believed that it's a magical experience—it's usually not. Or that after having sex for the first time people can really start to enjoy living life—not the case.

What if we just dropped all of the stigmas surrounding virginity and instead, replaced them with healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Writer Cayce LaCorte is going viral on TikTok for the simple way she's taught her five daughters to think about virginity. They don't have to. LaCorte shared her parenting ideas on TikTok in response to mom-influencer Nevada Shareef's question: "Name something about the way you raised your kids that people think is weird but you think is healthy."

Keep Reading Show less

Jimmy Fallon #MyFamilyIsWeird.

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is when we get the pleasure of spending way more time than we’re used to with our families. For those of us who’ve moved away from our immediate families, the holidays are a great time to reacquaint ourselves with old traditions and to realize that some of them may be a little strange.

Every family seems to have its own brand of weirdness. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says that their family is completely normal.

On November 18, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave everyone a reason to celebrate their unique families by asking them to share their favorite stories under #MyFamilyIsWeird. The responses were everything from odd holiday traditions to family members that may have a screw (or two!) loose.

Here are 17 of the funniest responses.

Keep Reading Show less

All of Broadway performing Sondheim.

Success is measured not by a list of our accomplishments, but by a legacy of people inspired by our passion.

This past Sunday (November 28), Broadway royalty gathered together in Times Square to pay tribute to Stephen Sondheim, the composer and lyricist who created legendary works for six decades, and whose name is practically synonymous with musical theatre. The tribute came after his passing on Friday.


The entertainers sung “Sunday” from “Sunday in the Park With George.” Some think that Sondheim wrote a fictionalized story about George Seurat’s famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, but it would be more accurate to say that he captured the essence of an artist’s inner battle between pure passion and toxic obsession, and simply set it to music. Such was Sondheim’s talent for encapsulating the human condition into breathtaking lyrics and dynamic composition.
Keep Reading Show less