In February I wrote about the “Shifting Chicago Narratives” student voice project taking place in Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Competency-Based Education (CBE) schools. It was an 11-week after-school project that engaged students through multi-media platforms to tell their stories and shift the narrative from a focus on all that students lost through the pandemic to what they gained. The project concluded last week with a screening event at the Gene Siskel Film Center where student-produced videos were shared with an audience for the first time.
The videos are now available for public viewing and they’re worth watching. Student teams from Curie High School, Hyde Park Academy, Juarez Community Academy, and Phoenix STEM Military Academy each produced a piece which tells the stories of their experiences during Covid. In the Curie video we get to see how a student initiated the creation of an award-winning robotics club, and how the process helped both students and teachers persevere. A Hyde Park student highlights how her mentor’s support helped her heal from devastating trauma, and it shows the resilience students can demonstrate in the face of challenge. At Juarez we hear several students describe with incredible insight and honesty how the past years have affected them and how they are getting through it by showing up for each other. Phoenix STEM Military produced an impressive artistic combination of footage and interviews to describe student life before the pandemic and how the experience changed what they value.