Video Vignettes

Client: New America

Lisa Guernsey of New America and Michael H. Levine of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop commissioned a series of video vignettes to accompany their book Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens, (Jossey Bass 2015).

We directed a team of videographers, traveling to sites around the country where parents, teachers, and community leaders are harnessing digital media to support children’s language development and literacy. We took our video crew into the homes of first-time parents in Houston, to the television studios of Univision, to the living rooms of families using e-books in Chicago, to the first-grade classrooms of an elementary school in Washington, D.C.

We also wrote a series of blog posts on New America’s EdCentral.org to tease the book’s content.

We are very grateful for our partnership with HiredPen, a communications firm run by the forward-thinking and talented Barbara Ray and Sarah Jackson. Barbara spent many long hours traveling and directing our video shoots, and her storytelling expertise shone through at every turn.”

Lisa GuernseyDirector, Early Education Initiative, New America

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Video Vignette: Comienza en Casa

Camera, editing by Nat Soti

Videos showcase sites around the country, such as the rural town of Milbridge, Maine, where recent immigrants such as Juana aclick-tap-read-home_360nd her preschool-aged son Jayden participated in an unorthodox family literacy program.

The program, Comienza en Casa, was supported by a suite of apps on a touchscreen tablet but was rooted in regular home visits from mentors, backyard science, and language-arts projects, and a chance for children to become creators using media of all kinds. At first, says Juana Vasquez of her son, “I didn’t really know what to teach him.” But the program opened her eyes. “The videos and apps give you a lot of ideas,” she said. “They get you thinking of what he needs to learn to get ready for kindergarten.”


Watch the rest of the videos in this series.