Program Description


This is a Youth Entrepreneur Initiative, Fine Arts and Film Project, and Young Broadcasting Learning Program all rolled-up, into one monster project. Grades 1st-12th (Ages 6 thru 17)

Overly ambitious as it might seem... Curiously 'Over the Top' as t looks. In reality, due to our current state of perpetual connection because of the internet, the symbiocity of all these projects brings these aspirations closer together. Merging traditional styles, from ancient tribal storytelling and talking circle traditions, to modern-day journalism, makes for an exciting opportunity to co-create something amazing together!

Originally this program was designed for the youth on the HOPI Native American Reservation, however, we have now expanded our outreach to local communities around the United States, with aspirations to reach Global heights.

A Great Divide...

The “Modern Standards” in Fashion, Broadcast Communication, Television, Print Media, and even Societal Behaviors, that are being absorbed and assimilated by our newest generations, are becoming detrimental to our Native American Cultural Heritage’s Survival

If only because we do not have a stronger, “counter-measure,” to ensure we are planting the seeds of wisdom that balance these outside influences, replacing them with traditional teachings and language, as well as a primal and simplistic way of life, then we must keep our head up and try harder.

Through STAR KIDZ Project, the resulting mixture would be a modern-day adaptation of Journalism and Investigative Reporting, with insight and with the gift of wisdom from ancestral teachings and culture.

“A great divide has been noticeably creeping up on us, and that is the societal markers by which we are segregated today.” says a Hopi Medicine Woman and Healer.
Our young ones (our future), in the meantime, are so self-absorbed that they running around shooting “selfies” (self-portraits) of themselves to send to their friends or post on social media. They spend all day long on the internet, or some form of digital entertainment like a cell phone, television, a tablet, or video game, etc. What ever happened to playing outside with sticks and rocks? Making pretend Piki (Hopi Blue Corn Flat Bread) out of mud, and playing Katchinas (Nature Spirit Warriors)? I suppose some still do: Not all is lost.

With all this “sensory” input, all these waves and vibrations bombarding our children’s minds, don’t you think it is time we are called upon into action?
Most of our parents today are stuck in the middle, wanting to embrace the modern standards in society in the name of progress, while living in constant arbitration with their elders.The generational gap happens when a parent that is raised with traditional wisdom fails to imprint such onto their child fast enough to keep up with the influx of multi-media content surrounding our young ones nowadays. This leaves our babies, having babies, and therefore wisdom of ancient teachings like a sense of commitment to our community, and the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, leaking and fading into the sunset. 
 
Through the STAR KIDZ Project, we will enable all these mediums of communication to be used in a productive manner,  one that will help re-build and re-cement our Traditional and Ancestral Cultural Values and Way of Life. 

By empowering youth via workshops and field experience they will get to learn and share this research and work with other youth, via modern mediums of communication.
While some of our elders are still planting their fields and participating in Kiva (Hopi Prayer Gatherings) and Ceremonies, passing on what they can to anyone who will listen... Others are extremely resentful of how “easily” Native Americans have been assimilated by western society, and therefore refuse to impart any knowledge to our new generations on the grounds that they do not respect tradition (like cutting our hair), or not participating in ceremony.

They key is in an approach that allows for a stitching of the two worlds together.

Our Goals...

Giving a child a Camera, Voice Recorder, or Video Camera is an amazing discovery for them, and it is INTERESTING to see how THEY SEE THE WORLD!
It is our intention to work cohesively with the youth to encourage a voice to help preserve heritage via interactions with elders.
 
Story Circles
(With Support with Native American Elders):
  • Reviving the old traditions of storytelling by elders, we hope to accomplish a strong community connection, and sense of belonging, to help maintain the strings of wisdom to be passed on to generations of youth to come, by hosting weekly gathering events in various locations throughout the U.S. In person and via remote Video Chat.
 
Film/Video
(With the Support of Google and Local Professionals):
  • Creating and Producing a weekly STAR KIDZ Video Report that will create within itself an apprentice program that will enable creativity to flow and learn valuable skills. Encouragement of video reporting and independent student films will provide an outlet for creative and artistic vision development.
 
The Internet
(With the Support of a Google Grant):
  • YouTube Channel (STAR KIDZ  Weekly Webisodes)
  • Social Media (FB, Instagram, Twitter)
  • Websites (Program specific)
  • Blogs (Online discussions and focus groups)
 
Print Media
(With Support from Local Media):
  • Articles are written by youth, for youth. A variety of official Press Releases will be made to Major News outlets and collaboration with local Universities and Colleges, High Schools, and Professional Academies will lend additional sources for printing and distribution of materials. 
  • Publishing of a weekly newsletter stories in PRINT, with expanded stories from Video Show. Students are encouraged to outreach within their community and cover stories that affect THEM. A digital copy of the print newsletter will also be distributed online and via email subscription.
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