Sandra D. Street
Middle School Social Studies
What do you get when you multiply six (6) phenomenal students, a cable news channel, and a passionate middle school American History teacher? You get C-SPAN StudentCam in the Classroom, at PS/IS 270Q!
The theme for this year’s StudentCam2018 is “The Constitution and You.” Our students have an opportunity to focus on a particular section of the United States Constitution and make a 5-7 minute documentary that illustrates, demonstrates, and contributes to the understanding of how our government functions. According to the New York State Standards and Social Studies Practices for the 8th grade, students are expected to gather, interpret, and use evidence to “examine arguments related to a specific social studies topic from multiple perspectives.” These 8th-grade students at PS/IS 270Q chose to direct their energies towards understanding citizenship, after having studied the 14th amendment to the Constitution and gathered information about the Dream Act. This Act was introduced by the Senate in 2001, to offer a pathway to citizenship to minor children who were brought to America, while undocumented. There are many families in our community who will be affected whether this bill is passed…or not.
On Monday, December 4th at 3pm, the C-SPAN 6, as they are affectionately known, conducted an interview with District 29’s very own, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, in Principal Harper’s office. The questioning techniques were professional and courteous. Moreover, the interviewer even had mints and a bottle of water waiting for our guest The Assemblywoman acknowledged that our documentarians asked her, “…hard-hitting questions today about immigration reform and the Dream Act. These future leaders….”
The C-SPAN 6 project is under the tutelage of one of our PS/IS 270 parents, who work alongside me in facilitating this project. Mrs. Dina Rice, whose company, TheArtsatHensonParks, along with her team of media specialists, are volunteering their time, equipment, and media expertise, to teach our students how to create a documentary worthy of national recognition. Our students have been working diligently, despite setbacks, interruptions, and distractions, to produce a body of work that will further add to what District 29 already embodies.
At PS/IS 270Q, we are preparing our students to be global citizens. To ensure success in that endeavor, we use critical and analytic thinking skills to discover and discuss the issues that affect our communities, our nation, and our world; The Dream Act is one of those issues. To better enable our future leaders to be successful in that regard, it is imperative that we teach them how vital civic participation is in their development of character and achievement. Herein lies the phenomenal opportunity, presented by C-SPAN StudentCam, for our middle school students to compete with their peers, from around the United States, and to document their mastery of dissecting and digesting comprehensive immigration legislation that affects our community. Our students are experiencing a personal connection to world events that is incomparable and unforgettable. What a testament to just how brightly District 29 shines.
By: Sandra D. Street
Middle School Social Studies