Members of the St. Patrick's Social Media Group Allyson Manak Majer, Rosemary Melski, Nicole Novaciah Pearce and Grace Schofield (back row left to right) along with Angelo Giustizia and Angelica Batog pose in front of the green screen they used to shoot their winning video. Photo courtesy Doug MacDonald

Video contest gets the word out on the Catholic school experience

  • January 25, 2013

A group of six Grade 8 students from Woodstock, Ont., captured top prize in a video contest to extoll the value of Catholic education.

The Social Media Group at St. Patrick’s Catholic School took top prize for its video Building People on Their Journey in the province-wide competition sponsored by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association (OCSTA). The prize was announced Jan. 11 and brought the group a $300 Best Buy gift card.

“It felt really good to know that all of our work paid off,” said Rosemary Melski, one of the members of St. Patrick’s Social Media Group. “We were pretty surprised. It was really exciting to know that we worked for this and we won.”
The contest was part of the OCSTA’s Faith in Our Future campaign which seeks to raise support for Catholic education across the province.

“Active engagement will help to protect Catholic education and ensure that our future remains bright for generations to come,” said Sharon McMillan, OCSTA’s co-ordinator of communications and media relations. “For this reason we decided to host a video contest to encourage young people in Ontario’s Catholic schools to share their experiences with a wider audience.”

Entrants were required to depict the value of Catholic education in the students’ local community and were limited to one minute, said McMillan.

The submission from St. Patrick’s Social Media Group, which took advantage of green screen technology, contained nine subjects who discussed the positives of a Catholic education.

“We thought it would be really interesting to find out about people in our community and how Catholic education helped them,” said Melski, 13. “It really helped them with their lives and their jobs. It helped them find out more about themselves and their life, they’re journey.”

The idea for the video came from a 40-minute brainstorming session with group members and teacher Doug MacDonald.

“We all just sat down and we were brainstorming ideas and it kind of came to us,” said Melski. “We were thinking about a whole bunch of ideas and it just stood out.”

But not everything about the process turned out to be as easy as establishing a plan. The group spent about 15 hours over three weeks finding subjects, filming and editing it all together just right.

“It took a long time to get it just right and how we wanted it,” said Melski. “It was really hard to get it under one minute. We had to edit some of the people because it was too long.”

It’s the group’s second activism video, the first being on racism, and the group is already working on another project titled Unfriend which will highlight the impact of exclusion from peer groups.

Now though, the group is taking a moment to reflect on the experience.

“We’re really happy with how it turned out and how we did the video,” said Melski. “It was a really good experience and it’s really helped us learn more about the Catholic community and our journey.”

Catholic Education Enhancing Our Faith, created by Victoria McGuire-Rainone from Assumption College Catholic High School in the Windsor, Ont., was the runner-up, followed by We All Belong, produced by students at Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Formosa, Ont.

First Place: “Building People on Their Journey”, created by the St. Patrick’s Catholic School Media Group (London District Catholic School Board)

Second Place: “Catholic Education Enhancing Our Faith”, created by Victoria McGuire-Rainone, Assumption College Catholic High School (Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board)

Third Place: “We All Belong”, created by Zachary Girdler and students at Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Formosa (Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board).


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