Photography Class Brings Community Together

Alex Hoskin is a Teaching Fellow at the Washington Irving Middle School in Rosindale, Massachusetts.  Elanys-Print

Last year I had the opportunity to teach a photography class as part of the expanded learning day at the Washington Irving Middle School where I serve as a National Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools. Over the course of the year I witnessed a transformation-- in myself, and in the students through the art they created thanks to the support of the community. This letter is a note of thanks to all of those who made this enrichment class possible.

Dear Friends,

On behalf of Citizen Schools, the Washington Irving, the Photography Enrichment students, all of the students and community members who enjoyed their work, and myself, I would like to thank you for donating or lending your camera to all of us this past year.

Jair PrintYour generous and brave* gift made a world of creativity, self-expression, and possibilities available to our students that would otherwise have been unattainable. Your camera passed through the hands of these 66 students more times than I can count during our explorations around Roslindale and Boston, around our school, and home with students at the end of the day. Together we took more pictures than my MacBook alone could handle without crashing, and almost more than four Google Drive accounts could hold for free. Truly thousands of photos.

With our ten cameras and budget of little more than enough for one 8x10 print for each student, we were able to put on four gallery shows throughout the year to show off the incredible artistic talent inherent within all of our students focused through these simple, functional point-and-shoot lenses. You made that possible.

You made photographers of these 66 students, a photography teacher of me, and a photography class of an otherwise empty afternoon classroom at the Washington Irving school.


Donations like yours are what make possible the extraordinary exploration and discovery that we at Citizen Schools work hard to provide every day to our students who all deserve these opportunities. Please know that we deeply appreciate your support and that through your donation you are helping to close the opportunity gap in a very real and, in this case, visual way.


So, one last time, as sincerely as is possible, thank you.

Yours in service,

Alex Hoskin

National Teaching Fellow, Photography Teacher

*Brave in the case of those who were hoping to have their personal cameras returned in similar condition to when they were donated. Though, it must be noted that, remarkably, not a single camera was lost or permanently damaged due, I believe, to the respect the students had for the equipment that was donated for their use.

You can support a class like Alex's by making a donation today.