Kids In Focus At The Phoenix Public Library

© 2013 Eric Navarro

Kids In Focus At The Phoenix Public Library

Eight professional photographers spent five weeks mentoring nineteen 7th grade students, from Children First Academy, in the how to use photography to better see the world around them. The results can be seen at the Phoenix Public Library now until March 22, 2013 in Teen Central. The 38 exhibit prints will then move to the Children First Academy campus where they will remain on permanent display after a special family night.

Each student was given a disposable film camera to take home every weekend to document their world outside of school. The kids also photographed each Friday afternoon at and around the school campus with the help of the photographers using digital point-and-shoot cameras. During the five weeks, the kids and their photo mentors experimented with the cameras, discussed the images taken and worked on a variety of photo techniques.

Children First Academy Phoenix serves families who live at or below the poverty line. Forty percent of the 300 K-8 students the school serves are homeless. The school provides much more than an education to its students; it provides the necessities, care and attention that so many homeless and low socioeconomic children lack, including food, clothing and

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medical care. Children First Academy provides stability that is often lacking in many of the students lives.

Karen Shell developed and organized the Kids In Focus project. This years students were mentored by photographers Karen Shell, Art Holeman, David Moore, Dennis Scully, Jason Grubb, Jim Marshall, Ken Ross and Michael Norton. CFA Teacher Sara Humenik supported the project. The photographers belong to Through Each Others Eyes, a non-profit which seeks to help people from around the world understand and appreciate cultures different from their own.

Kids In Focus is supported by great sponsors. Tempe Camera Photo Imaging donated the film-processing, prints, contact sheets from the 74 film cameras and also scanned a portion of those images. McKenna Pro donated all 38 beautiful exhibit prints. Claude Briggs donated 80 disposable film cameras.


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