Accolades News

Mid-Pacific middle school video wins two Gold Telly Awards

Posted on June 7, 2021 by Julie Funasaki Yuen

Mid-Pacific's "Listen Up: A Digital Storytelling Project" video recently won two Gold Telly Awards, the Gold Telly Winner in Non-Broadcast: Educational Institution and People's Telly Winner in Non-Broadcast: Educational Institution. "Listen Up: A Digital Storytelling Project" shares the journey of middle school students in teacher Kalei McDonnell's Digital Storytelling class as they embark on the project of interviewing a family member who is a generation or two generations older.

"I wanted 'Listen Up' to showcase a specific classroom project in our middle school that successfully integrates social emotional learning into its curriculum," shares Mid-Pacific Director of the Annual Fund and 'Listen Up' Producer Holly Iwasaki '96.

"I thoroughly enjoy the process of entering a classroom and capturing on film an amazing teacher guiding and supporting students in their journey toward deeper learning."

Mid-Pacific's middle school program embeds social-emotional learning into academic programming because students develop socially and emotionally at the same time they are growing academically. Social-emotional learning teaches students how to manage emotions, and how to establish and maintain positive relationships.

"Mrs. Kalei McDonnell represents the kind of talented and passionate teachers we have at Mid-Pacific and what she was doing in her popular digital storytelling class perfectly exemplified a successful infusion of character development into coursework that dealt with some pretty heavy concepts for middle-schoolers," says Iwasaki.

The digital storytelling class offered a unique opportunity for the students to share their stories that evolved before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The quality of the work produced by her students revealed that in spite of a looming global pandemic, they are truly capable of grasping complex social and emotional concepts and able to share powerful digital stories of human connection."

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 to honor excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming added soon after. The Telly Awards annually showcases the best work created within television and across video, for all screens. Receiving over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents, Telly Award winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world.

Another Mid-Pacific video series "Chat Sessions: Conversations with Classmates, Episode 5 Senior Year" took home the Bronze Telly in Non-Broadcast: Educational Institution.

Watch as Mid-Pacific middle school students, with the help of their teacher, listen to their families and use learned digital storytelling skills to build empathy and share amazing stories of human connection before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: