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Porter county youth earn top honors for movie making

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on May 15, 2012 with No Comments

Three members of Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County-South Haven Unit were named the winners in a national digital arts competition for their creativity and use of technology in movie making.

Sheridan Bickett, Dakota Bikett and Hailey Rodgers were recognized as the national winners for the Movie Tech animation category of the Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals for the 10-12 age group.

“It was amazing that our members won at the Midwest level, which included 13 other states. I was overwhelmed when BGCA announced that we won the entire national contest,” said Ron Ranta, unit director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County-South Haven Unit. “I am so proud of Sheridan, Dakota and Hailey with the success of this stop animation film. This was a total team effort, which included the star of the film, Jeremy Pratts, 17, the club’s staff members Jordan Clough, Tabitha Eggers and volunteer Chuck Polarek who helped supervise this project. ”

The Digital Arts Festivals are presented by Boys and Girls Clubs of America through its partnership with founding sponsor Microsoft and Comcast. The festivals recognize club members who use artistic expression in six categories: photography, music, graphic design, game design, movie animation and film.

“The Digital Arts Festivals encourage artistic expression through technology and allow youth to learn real-world skills,” said Dan Rauzi, senior director of technology programs for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. “Through our national partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, we are able to provide an opportunity to see the amazing things our kids and teens can do when given access to technology and allowed to express themselves creatively.”

For the movie tech animation category, club members were asked to create their own stop-motion animated short story. The entry was judged by a panel of national experts and competed against submissions from clubs across the globe. National judges included Lisa Keene, art director at Disney; Chelsea Badeau, director of homepage programming, XFINITY.com at Comcast; and Nunzio DeFilippis, graphic novel writer.

The Digital Arts Festivals are part of Club Tech, a program that integrates technology into club activities to help youth develop skills critical to building a successful future. The competitions allow members to take tech skills they’ve learned through their clubs and get creative to design original pieces of artwork.

“The quality of the entries we see for the Digital Arts Festivals every year never ceases to amaze me,” said Akhtar Badshah, senior director of citizenship at Microsoft Corporation.  “This year’s winners are the perfect example of how giving young people access to technology and the knowledge to use it unleashes their creativity and showcases how we can create exciting opportunities for youth in all our communities.”

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Pictured from left are Hailey Rodgers, Dakota Bickett and Sheridan Bickett, winners of the National Club Tech Digital Arts Festival.

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