Youth Photo Club


Photo Club Photography & Writing Program is now entering its 22nd consecutive year as a 24-session after-school program for 30 students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades at Wilson Foundation Academy, and starting this year 15 students in 7th, 8th and 9th grades at James Monroe High School. The program is free to the students and receives no funding from the Rochester City School District. Funders include individuals, businesses, foundations, and professional associations.

The six goals of photo club are to:

• Empower youth to express their vision and voice through photography and writing.

• Enable youth to build life skills such as self-confidence, perseverance, and problem-solving.

• Encourage youth to connect with the community via field trips to historical, cultural, college, urban/rural and other settings.

• Enhance knowledge of core school subjects such as ratios when mixing chemistry or use of fractions when cutting mats.

• Energize youth to work together in teams.

• Establish mentoring relationships with youth, over a 1 to 3 year period.

Students learn how to use a professional 35mm film camera, go on field trips in the community to take pictures, make their own black & white prints in the darkroom, write poems or stories to accompany their photographs and create their own pages for the annual club book using Photoshop. Students also cut their own mats and frame a selection of their photographs for exhibition and second and third year students complete special projects.

At the conclusion of the year, all of the program members' from Wilson Foundation Academy have their photographs and writing displayed at The Link Gallery in City Hall with an opening reception and awards ceremony in City Council Chambers. A student created movie featuring their photographs/spoken word set to music is shown, the finished book is released and club members are presented with certificates of achievement from community leaders. Our second and third year 8th grade graduates receive their own cameras. Over 200 parents, teachers, friends, funders, and community representatives are in attendance each year.

In 2017 we added a permanent public display component to the program with 30 art works placed in the following local public service agencies: Action for a Better Community - Action Front Center, 33 Chestnut St., Community Place of Rochester, 145 Parsells Ave., East House and Pathstone Development, 175 Alexander St., and Lifespan-Wolk Older Adult Center, 25 Franklin St. The community can enjoy the work of these young artists and the artists were paid for their images. This was funded through the support of the Fay Slover Fund of the Boston Foundation.

For more information, call 585-271-5920 or email

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