By Alexandra Frank, Special to USAG Vicenza Public AffairsDecember 16, 2013
VICENZA, Italy - The video communications class at Vicenza High School created a video to help integrate new students into the Vicenza Military Community, and their produc¬tion has been selected as an award winner by the Military Child Education Coalition.
Under the direction of computer science and math teacher Karen Drake, and as part of their first big assign¬ment of the year, the computer class students created a video for the Student to Student program, known as S2S, which is designed to welcome all new students to Vicenza.
S2S organizes tours at least twice a year to introduce new students to some of the historical artifacts the city has to offer, and assigns partner students to new arrivals to help them through their adjustment to life in Vicenza.
One aim of the video was to portray different aspects of being a student moving into not only a new school, but an entirely new country. New VHS students who view the video will see negative and positive aspects of life at VHS portrayed.
On the positive side, the video addresses the benefits of living in such a diverse community. VHS is made up of students who are both American and Italian, and there are also students from other countries around the world. The educational experience of being surrounded by the differ¬ent cultures is not something students find in many other high schools. Another benefit depicted is the vast array of food in Italy, from delicious pastas to decedent desserts.
While the makers of the film wanted to portray a lot of the benefits of living overseas, they also depicted the challenges that come with the move. Two of the more difficult challenges that new students face, as shown in the video, are coming to terms with being homesick and learning to master the use of another currency.
Junior Mario Molina said he believes that while it may take a while to adapt to the new surroundings and new people, in the end it is a great opportunity. "I enjoy living in Italy, but I still look forward to my visits to the States to see my family," said Molina.
Making the video not only provides a helpful too for the incoming students who will view it, it was also a great op¬portunity for the apprentice videographers to improve their skills with Adobe Premiere Pro, one of the standard software programs used by professionals and amateurs alike. Many students in Drake's class said they have an interest in some sort of multimedia career in the future.
"Working on this project helped me improve my aware¬ness of the angles I use when shooting images and which are best," said senior Gabby Moore.
Sarah Weston, an Italian-American student who is active in the VHS S2S program, said she has seen many stu¬dents come through the school. Weston said she feels the video is a great way to reach out to new students and give them an introduction to what they should expect before meeting and discussing their overseas move with their designated S2S partners.
In its selection of the VHS video for recognition, the MCEC cited its accurate portrayal of the military child's move overseas. The MCEC will make a $500 donation to the S2S to further its activities, and the video is presently being shown at both VHS and Vicenza Middle School.