Youth Film & Journalism Summer Camps

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Course Offerings



About the Young Journalists Summer Camp


What do the students do?

This summer camp curriculum is based on hands-on, student-centered, experiential learning. Students will learn the finer points of modern journalism as they work with their peers to create news stories in three different formats: audio, video, and text and photos for the web.

On Monday and Tuesday of the first week, students will complete small multi-media projects as they learn to use the necessary equipment and hone their interviewing and storytelling skills. The media for these projects will be shot and recorded in the area surrounding the WHYY studios. Students will work in small teams and will always be accompanied by WHYY staff members when newsgathering.

On Wednesday, students will be split into groups, and each group will be assigned a "beat," representing one of the neighborhoods surrounding WHYY: Old City, Chinatown, Society Hill/Washington West. Accompanied by WHYY staff, these groups will scour their assigned neighborhoods for story ideas. When they've identified stories, they'll pitch them to the news department, who will vet the ideas and steer the students in a manageable direction.

Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday will see the students following their best leads, gathering information, and telling stories through video, audio, text, and stills.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the second week, students will cover a second news story through a medium of their choice. The final two days of the program will be spent wrapping the completed news stories into a produced newscast.

Most days will also contain an after-lunch discussion, led by a member of the news department on a topic reflecting their expertise.


Who teaches/runs this camp?

This program is presented by the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons (formerly known as WHYY's Learning Lab) and WHYY's news department. Media Commons staff have several years experience working with teens and media. Since 2003, then under the Learning Lab name, the Commons has been running after-school documentary workshops, summer camps, and teacher trainings in an effort to teach the teens of the Delaware Valley to express themselves through digital media. The Commons team will run the day-to-day operations of the program. The team is led by me, Craig Santoro, Project Manager of the Hamilton Public Media Commons.

WHYY's award-winning reporters, producers, and news directors have been partners in the creation of the program's curriculum. Over the course of the week, they will lead discussion, provide guidance on student stories, and ensure the overall journalistic integrity of student work. The news department team is led by Chris Satullo, Executive Director of News and Civic Dialog.


Where is the camp held?

The program is located at the Hamilton Public Media Commons at WHYY, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, and the surrounding neighborhood. We are on Independence Mall across the National Constitution Center. Click here for driving directions. We are also accessible by public transportation. Students taking SEPTA regional rail should get off at Market East Station (11th and Market). From there, they can walk five blocks east on Market St. and take a left onto 6th St. The building will be a block and half down 6th St, on their left. They can also take the Market-Frankford El to 8th St. Once they've walked two blocks to 6th St., they can follow the directions above.


How do I pick-up and drop-off my child?

Parents can pick up and drop off students on 6th Street. There is a passenger loading zone in front of the American College of Physicians building just to the north of us on 6th St., immediately after Race St. on the right. Students should arrive between 8:45 and 9:00 AM and will be waiting in the lobby of WHYY at 4:00 PM.



About the Film Academy Summer Camp


What do the students do?

They make movies. Through hands-on experience they learn to script, storyboard, location scout, cast, light scenes, record sound, shoot video, and edit in Final Cut Pro. They even act.

The first week is dedicated to smaller projects that teach the basics of continuity editing, multi-camera shoots, shot composition, storyboarding, and Final Cut. By the end of the first week, the students are ready to plan, produce, and star in their own short film.

Over the next two weeks, they are in production and post-production, shooting scenes around the neighborhood and editing back at WHYY. It's no easy task, going from script to screen in two weeks, but WHYY's Public Media Commons specializes in fostering team work and breaking down complicated tasks into digestible chunks. We're always impressed at the talent of our students and the quality of their finished products.


Who teaches/runs this camp?

This program is presented by the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons (formerly known as WHYY's Learning Lab). Public Media Commons staff have almost 20 years experience among them working with teens and media. Since 2003, then under the Learning Lab name, the Commons has been running after-school documentary workshops, summer camps, and teacher trainings in an effort to teach the teens of the Delaware Valley to express themselves through digital media. The team includes:

  • Craig Santoro, Director of Media Instruction: Craig joined WHYY in 2002 and shortly thereafter started the station's first youth media program. Since then, he has created and managed ongoing after-school documentary workshops for Philadelphia teenagers and partnered with community centers to hold video production classes for teens who had dropped out of school. He's developed award-winning video summer camps, partnered with numerous schools to train teachers to use video in their classrooms and created video learning experiences for nonprofit organizations and area retirees.

  • Steve Dixon, Media Instructor: Steve is a graduate of Philadelphia's High School for Creative and Performing Arts and holds a Communications Studies degree from West Chester University. In his third year as a media instructor at WHYY, Steve has taught video and audio production to elementary-school children, teens, teachers, and seniors. He is a skilled videographer, editor, and producer, and particularly talented at sharing these skills with others.

  • Henry Cohn-Geltner, Media Instructor: Henry is a native of Brooklyn, NY, with a degree in Broadcast Communications from Temple University and a Masters in Mass Media Studies from the London School of Economics. A veteran staffer of several Philadelphia community media programs, Henry also proudly served as an intern at WHYY, before returning as a media instructor.


Where is the camp held?

The program is located at the Hamilton Public Media Commons at WHYY, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, and the surrounding neighborhood. We are on Independence Mall across the National Constitution Center. Click here for driving directions. We are also accessible by public transportation. Students taking SEPTA regional rail should get off at Market East Station (11th and Market). From there, they can walk five blocks east on Market St. and take a left onto 6th St. The building will be a block and half down 6th St, on their left. They can also take the Market-Frankford El to 8th St. Once they've walked two blocks to 6th St., they can follow the directions above.


How do I pick-up and drop-off my child?

Parents can pick up and drop off students on 6th Street. There is a passenger loading zone in front of the American College of Physicians building just to the north of us on 6th St., immediately after Race St. on the right. Students should arrive between 8:45 and 9:00 AM and will be waiting in the lobby of WHYY at 4:00 PM.




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