May 4, 2020: Virtual learning took a big leap forward last week for High School East journalism students, who were able to connect via Google Meet with famed photojournalist Melissa Bunni Elian.
The meeting was organized with the help of the Pulitzer Center for Education and through HSE classroom teacher Casey Daniel.
The sophomores, juniors, and seniors in Ms. Daniel's classes discuss the cannons of journalism, accurate reporting and, most recently, students have selected a topic to research and investigate in more detail. Her classes also run the social media account and website for the school, and have gained local and national attention for their Elf Letters campaign.
Bunni Elian is a documentary photographer who reported from the first Afropunk music festival to be held on the African continent about what the gathering means in terms of identity and community. Last Wednesday and Thursday she met with multiple classes of students-- each of which has completed a full unit on careers in journalism-- to discuss her career, challenges, and experiences in the field.
"This was such a refreshing change to the class and an exciting and inspiring facet of distance learning," said Daniel. "Many of my students have told me how much they loved this experience. And they think Melissa is the coolest ever!
"The students were lovely," said Bunni Elian. "They asked the best questions I've had presenting thus far!"
Those interested can follow Bunni Elian on Twitter and Instagram.