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Eastern students produce fun, educational videos for Windham children

Published on November 12, 2020

Eastern students produce fun, educational videos for Windham children

Families and organizations looking for new ways to engage young children during the age of COVID-19 can refer to a growing library of online content produced by students at Eastern Connecticut State University. Throughout the fall semester, student volunteers through Eastern’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) have been creating and uploading short educational videos to the CCE’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

The public is invited to enjoy the free content at https://www.facebook.com/ECSUCenterforCommunityEngagement or at the CCE's YouTube channel: Eastern Center for Community Engagement.  

To date more than 20 students have produced 23 videos spanning a variety of topics, including mathematics and boardgame tutorials, story time, a variety of science experiments, arts-and-crafts activities and much more. Young children can learn how to play Battleship, create art using fallen leaves, make a pumpkin volcano, get study tips on how to do schoolwork at home, and more.

Due to the pandemic, the CCE has had to overhaul its typical programming this semester, which is usually characterized by hundreds of students volunteering thousands of hours in the community through recurring projects and special events. One of the CCE’s most important community partners is the local school system.

“The idea (for the video project) came from discussions we had with Windham Public Schools afterschool staff as a way to engage the children when we can’t be with them in person,” said Kim Silcox, director of the CCE. “The projects in the videos are what the volunteers would have been doing if we were able to go into the afterschool programs in person.

“It’s also become a great way to give our student volunteers more ownership over the projects,” said Silcox, explaining that under typical conditions, community projects are led by select student leaders who organize volunteers. However, “Rather than having student leaders arranging the activity, the volunteers worked individually and in groups to come up with ideas, film and edit the videos. The feedback we have received from the participants has been very positive.”

Videos range in length from five to 10 minutes, with Eastern volunteers producing informative and entertaining pieces to help students adapt to COVID-19. With elementary-age students in Windham adjusting to the reality of new classroom formats during the pandemic, many of their daily routines have been altered. While Windham public schools currently offer a hybrid instructional model for their students, they recently returned from two weeks fully online. To help ease younger students into a virtual-based style of learning, the videos promote fun science experiments, crafts and tips for self-care.

To access the CCE’s videos, you can visit the Community Engagement Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ECSUCenterforCommunityEngagement or at the CCE's YouTube channel: Eastern Center for Community Engagement.

Written by Molly Boucher and Michael Rouleau