EATON — The Preble County District Library’s Tween Filmmakers Club had an opportunity to see its hard work pay off during the group’s first movie screening, held on Wednesday, May 31.
This session of the library’s Tween Filmakers club ended with the final project showing, where the youth got to invite their families to watch the movie with them and tour the new Maker’s Space in the Brooke-Gould Memorial Library.
The Tween Filmmakers club is a program which has been going on for three years, with this current round being the sixth program. However, according to library officials, this session has been the most interactive to date and has molded what future sessions will look like.
The Tween Filmakers Club started as a small idea and has only grown over the years. Most have been housed in Eaton’s Library, but one was at Eldorado’s.
For the last four weeks the youth have come in on Wednesday for an hour of writing, prop and costume making, filming, and editing. There were nine participants in the most recent session. These are all kids who have never had any experience making films. The staff teaches them everything and lets creativity take control.
“It was really cool because this is the first time that we’ve gotten to use the new Maker Space,” Youth Services Manager Sarah Tozier said. “We got a lot of the things in that space from an LSTA Grant. We got a green screen wall and there’s a sewing machine, so they were each able to have a short sewing lesson and make their own costumes. It was the most interactive film club that we’ve had so far. As far as them being able to have their hand in every part of it, as far as making props and editing.”
Tozier added, only one kid had experience using a sewing machine prior to the activity.
As Tozier mentioned, the library was awarded a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to fund the Tween Filmakers Club and the new Maker Space. The LSTA grant is funded through the independent federal agency IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services.) The funds are used in one of three ways: to support in-house initiatives, to support statewide initiatives, or for competitive grant programs.
All types of libraries are eligible for LSTA grants.
According to Tozier, the idea was to get better equipment for the Tween Filmakers Club. The grant was for roughly $4,000 and has been used to buy the sewing machine, green screen paint, a camera, a computer, and materials for the movie project. Now the staff has to survey the participants to see if they learned anything — that information will be turned in to the state, to prove the project has made an impact.
Youth Programming Specialist Magrace Landwehr added, “It’s stuff that they can use outside of the program too. If they want to sew, they can come in and use the sewing machine when they want to. If they liked using the green screen, they can make their own videos with it. It’s stuff that they can come back and use outside of this program as well.”
Tozier noted, if they find something they enjoy, such as sewing, through this project, then that is a lifelong joy they’ve been introduced to.
“They get a complete thing at the end of it,” Landwehr said, noting that the kids all get a copy of their movie at the end of the screening. “The biggest challenge is just the time, that it’s such a time crunch to get all nine kids through the sewing machine in one hour. One hour to get all nine kids learning how to edit. They have a little bit of a challenge with the time, but I think they enjoy it and the extra intensity makes it exciting.”
While the kids did edit the videos themselves, Clayton Jaros helped along the way. Landwher and Tozier also stressed, the new Maker Space is open to the public, not just the kids in the program.
PCDL holds the TweenFilmakers Club roughly twice a year, with the next one slated to start around October. If interested in signing up, simply look on preblelibrary.org or call the library for information.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH