Skip to main content

WTTW, CPS, and buildOn Announce Partnership on Student Film Project for MY NEIGHBORHOOD: PILSEN

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - April 3, 2017

WTTW, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and buildOn’s Chicago Service Learning Program announced today that they have joined forces on a video production workshop created by WTTW for high school students in association with the public media organization’s multi-platform MY NEIGHBORHOOD: PILSEN initiative, premiering on WTTW11 and on April 27.

The curriculum for this neighborhood-focused workshop was developed in collaboration with buildOn and CPS educators in Pilsen, Little Village, Englewood, Humboldt Park, and Edgewater. The students are collaborating together in small groups to produce short documentaries on a person, place, or thing that represents a positive presence or movement in their neighborhood. This project will culminate in a youth film festival in May 2017, where winners will be awarded college scholarship prizes, and winning short film selections will be featured on the website for the initiative,

“WTTW is excited to partner with the Chicago Public Schools and buildOn on this initiative, which strives to tell the story of Pilsen from a diverse array of personal viewpoints,” said Dan Schmidt, President and CEO of WTTW. “These student documentaries will certainly help us achieve that goal, while also affording us the opportunity to provide a showcase for talented young local filmmakers, any of whom might become the next Ken Burns.”

“The Chicago Public Schools are very pleased to participate in this project, which will provide valuable learning experiences for our students,” said Michael Cullinane, a journalism instructor at Senn High School who created the curriculum for the project. “We hope the creation of these films will instill confidence in them, and pride in their neighborhoods.”

"MY NEIGHBORHOOD: PILSEN is a great fit with buildOn's mission because it empowers our youth by giving them the opportunity for self-expression and to showcase their own community through their own lens,” said Francisco Ramirez, Chicago’s Program Director for buildOn. “Additionally, the hands-on experience and mentoring from media professionals adds a lot to their learning experience."

The My Neighborhood: Pilsen community engagement initiative is led by WTTW, in partnership with The Resurrection Project.

About WTTW
WTTW is a premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and WTTW PBS Kids – and on Recognized for award-winning local and national productions such as Chicago Tonight, Check, Please!, and MEXICO – One Plate at a Time, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s programming. Visitors to can access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, immersive web-exclusive stories, and features. . Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States, with more than 600 schools providing education to approximately 400,000 children. CPS’s vision is that every student in every neighborhood will be engaged in a rigorous, well-rounded instructional program and will graduate prepared for success in college, career, and life.

About buildOn
At home or abroad, buildOn's goal is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Across the U.S., buildOn empowers urban youth to transform their neighborhoods through intensive community service -- working with senior citizens, the homeless, and younger children. These same students help build schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world. Our students have contributed more than 1.8 million hours of service in the U.S., and have helped build over 1,055 schools in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal, Senegal, Malawi, and Mali.  For more information, visit buildOn has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

My Neighborhood: Pilsen is made possible through the generosity of the Caerus Foundation, Inc.