Lights Camera Read was a popular NYC community educational program that was done over a period of years at locations of the New York Public Library throughout NYC. This occurred with the help of partnerships with Video Film Web, the Magic Neighbors Players, and the Platinum PIAs Awards.
Lights Camera Read was sponsored by the New York Public Library as a workshop for teens who came to the library to study after school. Weekly classes focused on community service as well as the development of writing and media creation abilities.
Platinum PIAs Nominees
The workshops were co-taught by the founder of Lights Camera Read in tandem with the much beloved writer/librarian, the late Rodger Taylor. Some of the workshop participants were later nominated for Platinum PIAs as seen on the library’s website.
There was also an affiliated traveling family show for younger kids that was called The Magic Neighbors Players and included stories, magic tricks, and fun costumes. This troupe performed at various branches of the New York Public Library. One memorable performance was done at a library branch in the Bronx for homeless kids. The Magic Neighbors have their own website. Plus, since 2009 the Manhattan Kids Guide has been sharing information about the troupe.
Lights Camera Read Mission
The overall mission of “Lights Camera Read” is to inspire kids to read more, specifically books that were later made into movies. The phrase “The book was better than the movie” is a common reaction by those who read the book prior to seeing the motion picture. The two mediums of books and movies were compared looking at their differences in terms of components used for storytelling.
Student Produced Works
An important part of “Lights Camera Read” sessions, were the videos that were shot of stories written by the students themselves such as at this staged reading that was done by teen participants at a Midtown New York Public Library branch.
The birth of Lights Camera Read is attributed to a community costume parade that occurred in 2009 along Broadway Boulevard in NYC, specifically Northern Manhattan. The event was staged by the husband-and-wife team who also did a succession of Inwood/Washington Heights neighborhood events that followed this one. The procession that started it all consisted of over 100 Inwood and Washington Heights kids and their parents and was covered by local media outlets including New York 1. The procession would stop at prearranged community businesses whereupon the owners would give the kids treats. It was the bringing together of community and local businesses.