Mission

EDUCATIONAL MISSION

  • To encourage children to be enthusiastic about writing and reading
  • To help students build a foundation for writing, critical thinking, and problem solving
  • To promote character development as the diverse cast demonstrates cooperation and mutual respect
  • To provide educators with innovative and entertaining ways to teach their students

Green Screen Adventures (GSA) is an educational children’s television series intended to promote literacy. Utilizing humor as a powerful learning tool, GSA sparks enthusiasm for writing through age-appropriate sketch comedy, original songs, puppetry, and story theatre. By basing the stories on the writing of elementary school students, ages 7-13, children get the message that their words have power, and that their voices are being heard.

Since its debut in 2007, GSA has produced 165 half-hour episodes that feature stories written by almost 1,000 elementary school students. GSA provides something that educators can’t necessarily offer or replicate in a school setting, as it gives students a real world connection to their writing. Young students have the opportunity to understand the impact of writing on a broader audience by submitting their own writing to the show for consideration and adaptation.

Green Screen’s company of performers and writers reinforces critical writing skills and emphasizes positive social messages. In addition to academic skills, GSA focuses on the five Cs:

Creativity, Curiosity, Confidence, Citizenship, Compassion.

ACADEMICS – WRITING SKILLS

The writers for GSA walk the delicate line of adaptation, staying true to each child’s ideas and each student’s words, while at the same time creating dynamic and educational programming. They take the best elements of a child’s work – including descriptive language, plot, or character and expand upon them aiming to produce the greatest impact.

GSA has developed an aesthetic that grabs viewers’ attention, stimulates creativity, and emphasizes demonstrated writing skills. Educational content reflects current learning standards and is reviewed in collaboration with educators. GSA designs adaptations of students’ work to emphasize and reinforce writing skills.

BRAIN GAMES incorporate research papers and factual reports with an emphasis on organization and accuracy.

STORY THEATRE brings fiction to life and examines ideas and themes as well as the elements of character, setting, and plot. There is a natural expression of voice that enhances the writer’s use of point-of-view whether they chose the use of first-person or third-person narrative. Descriptive language is acted upon with an emphasis on a rich and deepened vocabulary. It also integrates components like prediction, parts of speech, dialogue, and punctuation.

PUPILS’ COURT analyzes the varying sides of arguments that are the foundation for powerful persuasive writing.

POET TREE features haiku and other forms of poetry.

FOOD FOLKS incorporates handmade puppets to provide yet another creative approach to storytelling.

BEYOND WORDS highlights illustrations and visual art techniques.

A primary goal is to generate more writing in schools and among students. One example of its success is from the Chicago Public Schools, the original partner for Green Screen Adventures, which is produced in and originates from Chicago. Over the past two years in one area of Chicago Public Schools, the participation rate in GSA has risen to 90%, with 27 of its schools submitting work to the program. One third of that area’s schools have had more than a dozen of their students’ stories featured on GSA. One can anticipate a similar growth pattern as the broadcast of the program expands across the country.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL GROWTH

Its company of writers and performers brings a variety of life experiences to the program. Through their words and actions they serve as role models for the young viewers, demonstrating respect and compassion. Writers and performers work as a team and openly value their differences as strengths.

In GSA adaptations, they highlight the important social and emotional issues expressed in the children’s stories. It provides a venue for children to express themselves in a safe and meaningful way. Each piece is adapted and performed with integrity, whether the child is an articulate and talented eighth grader, a student with special needs, or a wide-eyed youngster just learning to write sentences.

GSA honors each child’s background and life experiences, fashioning adaptations that not only take these experiences into account, but also emphasize them in meaningful ways. When children submit stories in Spanish, we create bilingual adaptations. If a child is deaf, we incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) and voice in our rendition.

FOSTER CREATIVITY AND PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS

By demonstrating improvisational techniques, they encourage problem solving and creative exploration through spontaneous humor. They use a simple theatrical approach to educational advantage, showing kids how to make costumes out of old clothes, the best way to use simple makeup, and how to create handmade puppets to act out stories. GSA highlights artistic illustrations as well as story content, traveling the world via photographs and the students’ art as backgrounds.

ACTIVE LEARNING THROUGH PARTICIPATION

Children hone their listening skills by actively participating during the viewing experience, answering questions during the Brain Game, or responding to questions from the cast about moral dilemmas, social behavior, or their feelings. They encourage children to make authentic connections and synthesize prior knowledge.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

In addition to showcasing their work, GSA involves students, teachers, and the community on other various levels, which includes periodic appearances both by students and community role models.