Participants: Sherrill Chen, Arvind Dutta, Yingyuan Ye
The service immersion gave us a wonderful opportunity to be involved with our local community and meet with our local community champions. We worked on a marketing initiative for the Children’s Dyslexia Center at State College, PA. We produced and published video content for the Center’s awareness and fundraising.
Children’s Dyslexia Center is a non-profit organization, which provides free of charge tutoring to children with Dyslexia. It is estimated that on an average 20% children have Dyslexia. The State College branch serves 15 counties in Pennsylvania, most in Centre, Huntingdon and Clearfield counties. The management and tutors at the center are very devoted to the mission. However the center is challenged by limited awareness of dyslexia in addition to being underfunded. After our discussions with the Center’s leadership board, we concluded that promotional video content for awareness and fundraising would be the best way to help them in the given amount of time.
It was so much fun on the day of shooting to meet with super energetic kids and their friendly parents. We shot several hours of footage covering several topics and stake holders. During our video shoot, the Center Director Ms. Marsha shared her inspiration, motivation, and commitment for the cause. She also talked about the importance of the Center. Then tutor Ms. Linda shared her experience with the children with dyslexia. We also had a chance to watch the Orton-Gillingham approach to treat Dyslexia which is unique to the Center that uses multi-sensory tactics. It was touching to talk with mothers of two kids who candidly shared their experience with the Center. It was heartwarming to know what it meant for their families. After all, a life is changed forever. A kid feels confident to take on life and any challenge once s/he can overcome Dyslexia. The strong faith from the people for the Center touched us all. It made us happy. We were contributing to a great noble cause, in however small way that we could. The post video production was challenging, time-consuming but rewarding. We spend a couple of days cropping, editing, fine-tuning and finally composing our final cuts. We created a YouTube channel to upload our final videos. This could be used actively for building awareness and fundraising in future.
Through this service immersion, we learned that the children with Dyslexia with little help from the community as tutors, volunteers and sponsors can lead a normal mainstream life. In fact some of them shine as stars, such as, Richard Branson and Albert Einstein. We hope that our small effort could increase the awareness of dyslexia and engage local community and philanthropists to help this noble cause.