TEENS TACKLE BULLYING: Teens in Raw Art Works’ Real to Reel film program in Lynn have tackled the issues of bullying and teen suicide through the production of a music video for Boston rock artist and activist Jen Grygiel.
The teens — who conceptualized, wrote, directed, and edited the video entirely on their own — tell the stories of three teens as they support each other through the difficulty of being gay in high school.
Social isolation, bullying, family stress, and heartbreak are explored within hopeful stories of emerging positively from a bad, and seemingly unending, situation.
“I’m really inspired after working with the students at RAW,” said Grygiel. “They took my song ‘Make it Out’ and made an amazing video that shows the power youth have.
“We focus all this attention on getting adults to help kids but actually kids have all the skills they need when adults allow them to be themselves and have a voice,” she said. “One important lesson I learned from these students, and the program at RAW, is that it’s really important for kids to help each other and for adults to create safe, supportive environments where they can thrive and be happy.”
Chris Gaines, director of the Real to Reel program, said, “It was cool watching my students, gay and straight, work together as professionals to tell stories that were close to their lives and experiences, stories that matter and reflect the reality of their world.”
While the video focuses on the stories of gay teens, it also highlights the larger issue of bullying.
“My students felt they hadn’t seen or heard their own stories, told from their perspective, in the media,” Gaines said. “Our film school aims to have kids tell their stories in a really meaningful way, and it’s awesome to see this story played out in a music video.”
Proceeds from the sale of Grygiel’s single “Make it Out” benefit RAW and the It Gets Better Project, which seeks to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth envision a life worth living.
A screening of the video is at 6:30 tonight at RAW’s gallery in Central Square. It is free and open to the public. Call 781-593-5515 or visit rawart.org.
CAMP FOR COPING: Children and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one can participate in a special two-day camp this July in Beverly Farms.
The 11th annual Camp Stepping Stones North Shore is hosted by the Bertolon Center for Grief Healing, a program of Hospice of the North Shore Greater Boston, based in Danvers.
The program is designed to give children enjoyable opportunities to help work through issues of grief and loss. With play and fun as its central components, participants can enjoy traditional camp experiences such as arts and crafts, outdoor games, and sports, along with special activities for commemorating their loved ones.
There are also relaxing activities for parents and guardians including massage, Reiki, yoga, creative art activities, and opportunities for families to come together.
“Camp Stepping Stones is educational and fun, and offers an experience that helps kids and their families develop the knowledge, tools, and resources to grow through loss, now and in the future,” said Nancy Sherman, director of bereavement for the Bertolon Center.
The camp runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 14 and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 15 on the campus of the Glen Urquhart School in Beverly Farms.
It is open to any family coping with the death of a loved one. It is free, following a non-refundable registration fee of $25 per family, which may be waived in cases of hardship.
Registration deadline is June 22. For more information and to obtain a registration packet, call 978-774-5100 or visit hnsgb.org/camp.
WHO’S WHAT WHERE:Bob Goldman is the new president of the board of directors of Cohen Hillel Academy in Marblehead. He is a director at the Boston law firm of Goulston Storrs, with a practice in tax and estate planning. A parent of two Hillel graduates, Goldman has been involved with the school for many years as an active board member. The new slate of officers includes: Bob Biletch and Deborah Margolis, vice presidents; David Callum, treasurer; Heidi Rubin, secretary; and Ken Weinstein, assistant secretary. New board members include Marjorie Patkin, Jack Schecter, and Stephanie Simon. The slate of new trustees includes Flori Schwartz, Anne Selby, and Bill Stibel. Margolis, a parent of two sons at Cohen Hillel, was recently presented the 2012 Ernie Haas Presidential Award for sharing time and expertise with the school. She is an associate professor and chair of the undergraduate education department at Merrimack College in North Andover.