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Partnering with Critical Exposure allowed us to further develop the creative skills of the students and utilize those skills to provide greater context to the issues.
Critical Exposure has run a number of projects focused on the issue of teen pregnancy. Through the Meld-Even Start program in Washington, DC, we worked with teen parents who documented both the joys and difficulties of being a young parent. They wrote compelling captions, poetry, and journal entries to accompany photographs that gave a firsthand account of the challenges they faced as teen mothers and fathers.
In 2007, members of the Alexandria Youth Council (AYC), in conjunction with the Alexandria City Public Schools and the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, worked together with Critical Exposure to increase awareness about the issue of teen pregnancy. Equipped with digital cameras and audio recorders, AYC members interviewed and photographed teen parents and their children.
The students presented their photographs to the Alexandria City Council and exhibited their work at Alexandria City Hall. The exhibit’s opening reception was attended by the Mayor, Deputy Superintendent, City Manager, and members of the City Council. The students also created a powerful video consisting of photographs, music, and audio clips of their interviews.