Daniel Ferguson, reality television producer, believes he can create future directors, writers, talent, assistant directors, camera people, lighting & sound people, and script supervisors, at the 93rd St. School in South Central LA. He has conducted a pilot program this past school year partnering with the Los Angeles Unified School District to develop a curriculum that will engage and enhance the educational experience for inner city kids. Together with Ellen Tellez’s 4th grade class, they have created the news station Channel 93.
Daniel Ferguson explained, “The result is The Los Angeles Legacy Project’s LEGACY BUILDERS program. The program activates grade level based STEAM standards (Science Technology Engineering and Math) to enhance the learning experience, engage the students and create an interactive learning experience.”
The Hollywood 360 interviewed Daniel Ferguson on the red carpet at the Los Angeles Unified Arts Education Branch 3rd Annual Student Film Festival. We discovered that he had been a reality television producer for many years working on The Steve Harvey Show and The Dr. Phil Show, but was now pursing his passion to give back to the community. The result was developing the Legacy Project. When he described the project to us, we loved what he was doing with the kids. So The Hollywood 360 went on a field trip to the 93rd St. Elementary School to find out how they worked their magic.
“The Los Angeles Legacy Project is a program dedicated to creating a path of success for our upcoming generation. Our program uses the arts to enhance education,” Daniel commented.
On the day we visited, Channel 93 was reporting on the environment. The 4th graders wrote, researched, filmed, directed, did the sound, lighting, camera work, played the roles of a script supervisor, AD, and talent. The different teams took turns producing the program, as each student took on their respective roles. Their concentration was intense and serious. However, the atmosphere was joyful…full of love and support.
Ellen Tellez, the 4th grade teacher rehearsed the lines with the newscasters over and over, helping them with pronunciation of words or the tone of their delivery. She would say encouragingly, “Put some salsa into that…” and everyone would laugh.
Daniel walked around the classroom, answering questions, giving last minute instructions before filming took place. As soon as the AD said, “Camera Rolling,” the children portrayed the upmost professionalism.
“Legacy Builders prepares students for an increasingly changing digital and information driven world. It is research and writing intensive, requiring the students to engage and navigate the vast resources of the Internet in order to bring out information and create entertaining and educational content. We focus on communication, reading, writing, oral and research skills,” Daniel proudly explained.
For two concentrated hours, the 4th graders worked harmoniously producing Channel 93’s news format program. Jonathan Kaufman, a professional photographer who volunteered in the classroom, took videos of the children as they worked. When it was a wrap, everyone had huge smiles on their faces. Mission accomplished. A group photo was taken in front of the green screen.
Here are the 4th graders of Channel 93; here are our future directors, writers, AD’s, talent. Here are successful and confident students who have benefited from The Los Angeles Legacy Project.
“Students have shown marked improvements in all of the above areas in the first three weeks of our pilot program. Their improvements continue to climb and they recognize the benefits of this program.” Daniel Ferguson – Television Producer
If you would like to find out more about the The Los Angeles Legacy Project:
Contribute to the Los Angeles Legacy Project, Go Fund Me Campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/LALegacyProject
The Making of : Channel 93’s Report on Renewable Energy Video ( Coming Soon)
The Finished Product : Channel 93’s Report on Renewable Energy
Slideshow Photos: Linita Masters / The Hollywood 360 (unless otherwise noted)