Since 2007, Spy Hop has been partnering with the Salt Lake Division Of Youth Services for a special Friday morning multimedia workshop that lasts the whole school year! Each time students from the DYS Boys and Girls Group Home enter Spy Hop they have two hours to create a short film based on a social skills issue, a life lesson, or something related to an upcoming holiday. Topics for films in the past have ranged from general life skills like brushing your teeth and being kind, to history lessons about the origins of Halloween or the Eiffel Tower.
Each Friday morning, mentors Jeremy Chatelain and Gabriella Huggins have a brief conversation about the topic of the day with students, construct a plan of action, and then assess student interests. Students are encouraged to contribute to the film while engaging in camera work, music, acting, script writing, and perhaps animation. Because the students are in states custody, they get pretty creative about how to not show their faces, using puppetry, masks and stop motion animation.
Pat Berckman, the Division Director for Salt Lake Youth Services:
“Spy Hop gives our foster care youth who are placed with us temporarily, a creative outlet in a positive environment. Staff at Spy Hop make our youth feel valued, successful and capable in their challenging worlds. Our youth love being able to create something original and then see their final product. They return to our group homes very proud with a great sense of accomplishment every Friday. We so appreciate Spy Hop and their efforts with our Group Home youth! ”
While working with students in this media production exercise, the mentors hope to teach the positive power of media while letting students gain hands-on experience using technology that has perhaps been out of reach before their visit to Spy Hop.
When two hours is up the outcome is an entertaining and enlightening piece of collaborative media as well as smiles and high-fives from a happy group of teenagers.
To view samples of our last 7 years of work, please click here: supersweetfridaymornings