08/01/2009
Behind the Scenes
Comcast and Sprout add a professional touch to student PSA

Teacher reports chilling impact

Comcast Interactive Media (CIM), a NID Classroom Partner, chose to ramp up its involvement with "their class" at Logan Elementary this year, to stunning effect.

When representatives from CIM learned the class they had been paired with at Logan, Jasmine Williams' 4th grade class, wanted to create a public service announcement about child abuse, they put their connections to work.

The students had researched their topic thoroughly, having met with several community partners who provided information about the causes and effects of this disturbing problem. Two students in the class were known to be personally affected by the issue, so the intensity of their work took on particular meaning.

As part of their advocacy, the students told Ms. Williams they wanted their service to have two components:

  • a public service announcement, which they hoped might air locally, and
  • a play about child abuse, which they could perform for their school community and for a neighboring elementary school. Ms. Williams said yes to both requests, not knowing exactly how all this would happen.

When word circulated among CIM employees, they decided to pool their resources to help out. They called a producer for the children's television program Spout, who agreed to lend her expertise. She worked with the students from concept through storyboard and script. A video crew from Comcast shot the PSA and returned it to Sprout for the final editing. Ms. Williams and her students were amazed by the quality of the finished product, which "aired" before the three performances of their play. Click here to see PSA

But perhaps the most compelling outcome was the effect the PSA and play had on at least one student from a neighboring elementary school, who approached her teacher after the performance and revealed her history of abuse.