In a joint undertaking with ChildFund, the CPC has created a photography workshop that was first implemented with high school students on the island of The Commonwealth of Dominica in early 2009. The program, Dominica Through The Eyes of its Youth, has to date been taught in nine schools/centers, and one class has been taught twice - that's close to 300 students and about ten teachers. CPC has gone through the primary school through high school and the State College.
In the first class in October of 2009, 15 youths, ages 15 – 18, were taught the mechanics and art of photography. Each student was provided with a digital camera to use for the duration of the course. There was daily instruction for two hours over three weeks, including camera operation, framing and execution. Each student wrote three essays: A Self Portrait, My Family, and My Community, describing themselves, their family and their community. They then took photographs to go along with each of these writing assignments. There were additional classroom assignments, related to different photography subjects, such as motion, depth of field, and macro photography. This was followed by homework with the cameras provided. Each day there were classroom discussions of the photographs to improve upon the individual's technique. There were several field trips to allow the young people to further their photography experience. At the conclusion of the three weeks, there was a presentation to the community of the students work.
All of the equipment, cameras, printer etc. was left in Dominica, and a local photographer, Irvin Durand, has continued the program and continued the collaboration with Child Fund in other schools. Photography clubs have been established at the schools and the interested youth have been able to continue their experience with photography. In October 2011 we returned to Dominica and taught the class again to a group of 15 high school students.