Jacob Burns Film Center Receives Grants To Expand 'Seeing Stories' Program

Arts and Entertainment

February 27, 2013

From: Jacob Burns Film Center

Pleasantville, NY -- The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) has received grants from the John P. & Constance A. Curran Charitable Foundation and The Frog Rock Foundation to expand the SEEING STORIES program in the Ossining School District. Beginning in March, the JBFC education program will reach approximately 1,300 children at Park Early Childhood enter and Brookside School through school assemblies, professional development, and a series of workshops. The SEEING STORIES curriculum engages students in literacy building activities through storytelling and media production.

“Ossining UFSD has been an incredible partner of the JBFC since our inception. We are thrilled with the opportunity to begin reaching students at the earliest ages and most critical moment in their literacy development. This new initiative represents the possibility of having a significant impact by working with students in Pre-K – grade 12,” said Emily Keating, Director of Education, JBFC.

SEEING STORIES integrates movement, sound, and storytelling to strengthen the building blocks of early childhood literacy. The program fosters the growth of skills such as listening, sequencing, observing, comprehending, and predicting while strengthening a child’s vocabulary and ability for self-expression. The goal of the program is to develop active listeners and inspired communicators. The curriculum was developed by Bill Gordh, in partnership with the JBFC. An award-winning storyteller, author, musician, and educator, Gordh is the author of Stories in Action: Interactive Tales and Learning Activities to Promote Early Literacy. He is also the Director of Expressive Arts at the Episcopal School (NYC) and the Director of the Summer Arts Institute at Manhattanville College. SEEING STORIES has been piloted in the Yonkers Public Schools for the past three years. It is a valuable pre-cursor to JBFC’s third and fourth grade programs, SEE HEAR FEEL FILM and MiNDS IN MOTION.

"We are always seeking new and innovative ways to engage our students and Jacob Burns Film Center provides these opportunities. This initiative will not only impact students but the way in which we teach. We are very thankful to the JBFC and the grant funders," said Ray Sanchez, Interim Superintendent of Schools, Ossining UFSD.