Plum Projects

Life-changing documentary storytelling in the classroom

By: Kelly Daley

COPE24’s “Life-Line” is the first production in a new video series entitled “Elements.” It features five women who became pregnant as teenagers. COPE24’s mission is to reduce child abuse and neglect. This documentary-style production is being shown in classrooms around the U.S.

Each episode in “Elements” examines one factor prevalent in cases of child abuse or neglect. These factors include immaturity, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health problems, absent fathers and child endangerment. "Life-Line" addresses immaturity. It focuses on teenagers who have a child before they’re ready to be parents.

I’ve been working with Rene Howitt and COPE24 for seven years. I love these productions. These are real people with real stories and I think a lot of people benefit by hearing them.

Plum has produced 12 videos for COPE24. We’ve interviewed people all over the country covering a variety of parenting topics. Two of those videos are documentary-style productions.

I enjoy doc-style productions and I think they’re effective. The audience sees and hears young people who look and sound just like they do. I had the chance to see one of our COPE24 pieces screened in a high school. It was a typical classroom. Some of the kids didn’t want to be there. Others just wanted to tune out. But the video got everyone’s attention. After watching it, most students participated in an emotional discussion. The bottom line is the video did its job. It made the teens sit up and take notice. It made them realize choices they make today will affect their lives and others for years to come. That’s pretty gratifying.

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Topics: nonprofit, awareness, documentary, docu-style, storytelling