Education Blog

Love in the Afternoon

By Estelle Rosen-Kersh, JBFC Volunteer 06.11.14

“As a volunteer at the Burns I have been fortunate to have developed many friendships with staff members and fellow volunteers. I appreciate the opportunity to make a contribution to the wonderful programs offered by the Jacob Burns.”- Estelle K.

Estelle Rosen-Kersh is a familiar face here at the JBFC. She began as an administrative volunteer in our Executive Offices at the Media Arts Lab. For several semesters she has been volunteering with our education programs, including our 12-week animation course for fourth graders, Minds in Motion; as well as our visual storytelling program, See Hear Feel Film,for third graders. Estelle is a returning JBFC student, having taken several semesters of our Power of Story writing courses for adults. The following is a heartfelt account of Estelle’s most recent semester volunteering with students at the Claremont School in Ossining, NY.

“As I parked my car down the hill from the Claremont school one misty afternoon in May, I could feel the heaviness of knowing this was the last day for me with this class. The weather seemed appropriate to my mood. When I passed through the door and into Room #25, the electricity of all the activity took over and I got into the swing with Mrs. Hammer’s 4th graders. It had been a rocky road to organize and lead this group of kids, who had been through a half year of classes interrupted by holidays, snow days, and the daunting pressure of the common core testing.

When I first arrived at the beginning of the program, the parent-volunteers, the teacher, and of course the children, had not previously seen the Minds in Motion program; and they had no idea what to expect. I fell in love with each of the 5 kids in my group on the very first day. Since I am a seasoned Minds in Motion volunteer, this being my 3rd opportunity to support the program, our professional animator-in-chief, Greg Nemec even entrusted me to help lead the entire class from time-to-time. I quickly fell in love with all 30 kids.

As we moved through each of the 12 sessions we worked on haikus, writing story, character and problem development, story-boarding, and timing and calculating frames. As a team, we designated the jobs of iPad operator, director, and animator for each of the 10 scenes of our group’s approximately one minute movie. Animation is hard work! There was, of course, argument, negotiation, changes, agreement, and some tension for all of us. At times it seemed it would not be possible for our movie to come together. In the end, we learned a lot about compromise, teamwork, and collaborative creativity.”

To read Estelle’s entire reflection, click HERE for a PDF version.

Interested in volunteering with Minds in Motion this summer? Check out our summer schedule or stop by our volunteer training & information session on Friday, June 27 at 10am.