Bronxville News

Students in Class
Bronxville, NY

Fourth graders have taken on the role of filmmakers to create antibullying public service announcements. Using professional-quality camera equipment, they partnered with Mike Feurstein, a filmmaker, educator and DON’T WAIT to UnMake a Bully program creator, to model a movie set and fulfill their chosen jobs.

“The program is special because it instills the idea of positive digital citizenship through the art of filmmaking,” fourth grade teacher Derrick DiRienzo said. “It also promotes an inclusive environment free of bullying and exclusion.”

Before filming, the students brainstormed ideas and discussed real-life scenarios while writing their PSA scripts. Through the program, which focused on antibullying and responsible digital citizenship, they created, wrote, produced and filmed their own PSAs. Some of the topics they covered included FOMO (fear of missing out), data mining, cyberbullying, damaging trends, dangerous TikTok challenges, the unchecked power of influencers, as well as self-esteem, camera tricks, body image problems from social media and advertising.

“By working as a team to create the video, students use communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills in creative and fulfilling ways,” Feurstein said. “Bronxville students have an enthusiastic approach to the whole process. I laugh every day, and I also learn new things from their unique perspectives.”

The experience allowed the students to be creative while fulfilling their chosen job of director, actor, sound or slate. The entire fourth grade will be viewing their PSAs during a red-carpet event on June 21.