Fourth Graders Create and Film Antibullying PSAs

As Bronxville Elementary School fourth graders called “quiet on the set,” they took on the roles of actors and filmmakers to create antibullying public service announcements. Equipped with professional-quality camera equipment and lighting, they partnered with Mike Feurstein, a filmmaker, educator, and DON’T WAIT to UnMake a Bully program creator, to model a movie set and fulfill their chosen jobs. 

Through the program, which focused on antibullying, the students created, wrote, produced, and filmed their own PSAs. Prior to filming, they brainstormed ideas and discussed real-life scenarios while writing their PSA scripts.

“Each year, the program excites and engages the fourth grade students in a dynamic way,” teacher Lauren Wright said. “The best part of the experience is watching them during the filming day. The students get behind the camera, hold up the boom mikes, say ‘cut,’ ‘action’ and ‘quiet on the set.’ They get to act and direct. They do one take after another, working together to get one that is just right. They come together to work through challenges, all for the final product.” 

The experience, which ran from May 20-June 3, allowed the students to be involved in every aspect of the process and be creative while fulfilling their chosen job of director, actor, sound or slate. Throughout the process, they also learned how to use a camera and discovered new hobbies and passions.

“The joy on their faces at the end of the day when the assistant director calls, ‘That’s a wrap!’ is incredible,” Wright said. “Our Bronxville fourth graders are so incredibly lucky to have this program available to them.” 

Wright said she hoped the students took away a new understanding for what others might be going through as the program doesn’t villainize the bully. Instead, the program explored why people would bully, whether they feel insecure about themselves or are trying to have control when they feel their life is out of control. In addition, she said she hoped the students gained the necessary tools to stand up for themselves and others, as well as gain a new hobby from the program. 

The entire fourth grade viewed their PSAs during a red-carpet premiere party in the auditorium on June 18.