TEEN PRESS — The Program
In 2007 two optimistic Santa Barbara Middle School teachers, David Teton-Landis and John Seigel Boettner, saw a wave forming around the convergence of technology and journalism. For the first time in history, the internet enabled content to be streamed throughout the world, and video cameras could be found at any local electronics store. They had a realization:
What if, by bringing a teenager’s perspective to reporting, they could bring a new dimension to stories that traditional journalists could not? And what if journalism could be used as a tool, an experience, to teach students about themselves, their values, and the larger culture?
The Santa Barbara Middle School Teen Press is a quarterly elective program that has grown to be one the most highly sought after classes at their school. Its purpose is much larger than teaching kids journalism. Teen Press teaches students communication skills, self-confidence, teamwork, authentic relationships and helps kids discover the value of their own story. Nine years later, 30+ teams, and many additional schools now utilizing Teen Press, the Teen Press program has grown to actively engage new teachers and students across the country and world.
TEEN PRESS — The Film
Teen Press is a stand alone, 32 minute documentary film created by filmmaker T.C. Johnstone about the Santa Barbara Middle School Teen Press program. T.C. was inspired to make the film when he encountered the Teen Press team at the Santa Barbara Film Festival where his film Rising From Ashes was premiering. Among the throngs of journalists and paparazzi, he saw a group of 12- and 13-year old kids, poised and ready to ask meaningful questions of the stars and filmmakers who walked the red carpet. The film follows Teen Press from the selection process and initial training, as well as multiple interviews and shows how through this process of kids connecting with each other and their interviewees they gain further purpose, confidence and discover the value of their own story.
TEEN PRESS — The Cookbook
We are thrilled to announce the Teen Press Cookbook, a companion to the Teen Press classroom curriculum. Combination storybook and DIY guidebook, we designed In cookbook fashion to make lessons easy and digestible. Sweet and savory anecdotes as appetizers. Inexpensive ingredients and simple processes that provide additional context for the classroom curriculum, or if you want to take Teen Press beyond the classroom the Cookbook provides everything to establish a Teen Press club at your school.
The electronic version, available as part of the Teen Press classroom package, is full of linked and layered multi-media examples and demonstrations. The Teen Press Cookbook tells and shows. In return for all that access, we just ask you to spill ideas in the margins and help us write the next chapters. We’d love to add your experiences and recipes to the Teen Press community kitchen.
Purchase classroom curriculum and get The Cookbook here.