BERLIN — Though they couldn’t make the trip to Kentucky to participate in the International Student Media Festival (ISMF) in November, Jeannette Mears’ former kindergarten class got an opportunity to celebrate their victories in two categories when Showell Elementary School (SES) held a screening of their multi-media story project on Wednesday.
“We thought we’d bring the festival here and do our own production for you and share what your students did and all of their hard work,” Mears told gathered parents, students and educators.
The winning project was based on a book Mears’ 2011-2012 class had previously written entitled, “The Gingerbread Boys and Girls.” The project featured audio of students reading pages from the book while images they created played by on screen.
“We did sequential stills as a photo story,” said Mears. “So we took our book and edited that. We did the book first.”
The story, which was about a retired teacher who missed her students so much she created children out of gingerbread to keep her company, was dedicated to JoAnne Donovan. Donovan taught at SES since it was constructed in 1976. She retired prior to the story being written and passed away suddenly last year.
“It’s a very special book that holds a lot of memories and meaning to us,” said Mears.
After choosing to evolve the book into a multi-media entry and submit it to ISMF, which took place on Nov. 1, Mears’ class was awarded first place in two separate categories.
“Each year they do have winners in different areas and ours was Excellence in Media and Judges’ Favorite. I’ve never had a class win both,” Mears said.
Mears’ didn’t find out that the project had won until December and said that she was glad the school chose to acknowledge the students’ effort and talent with a screening of the photo book and a medal awarding ceremony.
“They worked really hard coming up with that story,” she said.
The announcement of the wins and the celebratory ceremony comes not long before a new round of tech projects are set to begin development. The Worcester County Tech Fest for 2013 is set to be held on Feb. 13. Submissions from that event could follow the example set by Mears’ class and compete on an international stage against students from across the world.