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Mozley Kids Create

Updated: Mar 15

Mozley Kids Create is a project developed by the Mozley Park Neighborhood Association (MPNA) and implemented through the Education Committee of the MPNA.  Mozley Kids Create gives students an opportunity to focus on subjects where there’s a growing need of emphasis (i.e. STEM, writing, literacy, etc.) using filmmaking techniques. The workshops prepare them to enter content for the film festival, which takes place in Summer 2022. Organizers worked closely with the community and F.L. Stanton Elementary School faculty. The school is located inside the Mozley Park neighborhood and sits next door to the park where the afterschool program and festival will take place.

Mozley Kids Create has two components: 

1) an 18-week afterschool filmmaking course for upper elementary-aged children, which includes imbedded academic enrichment and 2) a neighborhood festival which includes a screening of the child-produced short films.

The Education Committee created the Mozley Kids Create program and a Kids Film Festival to accomplish our goals.  The goal of the project is to strengthen parent-school collaboration and enhance the role of Atlanta Parks and Recreation in the neighborhood. 


From Idea to Inception

The Education Committee is composed of approximately 18 members, most of whom are Mozley Park residents and a few who are friends of residents and supporters of the mission.  The President of the MPNA, James Hicks, is an active member of the Education Committee and supportive of this project. The Steering Committee for the proposed program includes six committed individuals with a broad range of relevant experience:

  • Cheron Pitchford (Chair), management and organizational leadership professional with experience in community organizing.

  • Shannon Barr, a community organizer with a background in script-writing 

  • Robert X. Golphin, a filmmaker with experience leading children’s filmmaking camps and organizing film festivals in Philadelphia

  • Ann Hazzard, PhD, a child psychologist and children’s book author with experience in grant-writing and program development

  • Kristin Hemingway – an instructional design specialist, with broad experience running community-based afterschool and summer camp programs

  • Pandora McMurray – founder of Dream Makers Kids nonprofit, which provides career education to children, and a leader in overall neighborhood improvement efforts

  • Mohamed Sillah (Co-Chair) – a resident with a business and entrepreneurial background, with experience in event planning.

Program Description

Mozley Kids Create is a filmmaking/academic enrichment program designed for between 15-24 children in third through fifth grades.  FL Stanton has at least 85 children in this age range, so we do not anticipate difficulties in recruiting participants.  


Children will meet three days a week after school, for two hours each day, for a total of 18 weeks (two 9-week sessions).  The program will use hands-on activities to teach children about the skills involved in making films and expose them to film industry professionals and careers.  Children will work together in four groups of six students (assuming maximum program capacity) to write, act in, film and edit their own short film.  The engaging medium of filmmaking will be used to strengthen academic skills throughout the program.  For example, children will learn new vocabulary words, practice reading scripts, strengthen written expression as they write their own scripts, and practice math in the context of budgeting for their film productions and other applied tasks.  


The program will be led by a teacher (working part-time after school) and a filmmaking professional (a graduate level film student or a teaching artist from the nonprofit Reimagine Atlanta).  These professionals will work with designated members of the Steering Committee to fully develop the program curriculum.  In addition to the two co-leads, we plan to have at least two filmmaking student volunteers serving as small group mentors (assuming full program enrollment).  We have requested that Atlanta Parks & Recreation provide one additional staff person.  Members of the Education Committee may also attend specific activities to provide additional mentoring.


During the first 9-week session, students will learn about storyboarding, character development, acting, set-building, and camera, lighting, and sound recording techniques.  They will develop their own script and mock-budget for a small-group film. They will also take a field trip to a production studio to observe a range of film professionals and tasks.


During the second 9-week session, the filmmaking teacher will bring professional grade film equipment (checked out from a college or nonprofit) and the whole group will work together to make a mini-documentary about the filmmaking course using this equipment.  The mini-documentary will consist of brief interviews with children and teachers and one scene from each of the four small-group film teams.  The filmmaking teacher will edit the mini-documentary.  This will provide students with exposure to professional equipment and practice for the movie-making process.


Subsequently, each small group film team will film their own project using phone cameras, tripods, basic lights and microphones.  They will edit their own films using Filmora,  software which is inexpensive, easy to learn, and compatible with rec center computers.  Use of more accessible cameras and editing software will allow students to be able to continue filmmaking on their own after the course has ended.

Film Festival

The Mozley Kids Film Festival will include a range of recreational and enrichment activities typical of neighborhood festivals.  At dusk there will be a screening of the mini-documentary and the children’s films.  We will invite filmmaking professionals/organizations to provide demonstrations or hands-on activities.  Typical festival activities may include interactive book readings, a magic show, African drumming, arts and crafts, face-painting, and physical activities (frisbee, hula hoop, relay races, dance contest to music provided by DJ).  Typical festival activities would be staffed by Education Committee members and community volunteers.  Limited free refreshments (water, popcorn) would be provided.  Additional food and beverages from independent vendors would also be available for purchase.

Grant Funding

The Mozley Kids Create Afterschool Film Program is sponsored by a $20,000 grant from The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) awarded to the Mozley Park Neighborhood Association’s (MPNA) Education Committee. 

“It’s a great honor to receive this grant,” said MPNA president, James Hicks. “It’s a culmination of the community’s time and effort investing in our children’s future to make our community and world a better place.” The grant is part of PSE’s Just Growth initiative, which credits itself with uniting "Two Atlantas" - one that's benefited from many opportunities; and one left behind through disinvestment. Mozley Park has seen rapid changes in recent years with community improvements, changing demographics, and gentrification.

The Mozley Kids Film Festival is sponsored by a $9,000 Community Impact Grant from the City of Atlanta Department of City Planning.

The Mozley Kids Create grant application received one of the highest scores from the review panel. It was the largest amount of money awarded by the panel this year (2022).


We are always looking for volunteers and student participants.

Cheron Pitchford - Chair  Mozley Kids Create 

Mohamed Sillah - Co-Chair Mozley Kids Film Festival

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