With school closures being enforced and students now learning from home, Outloud’s RESPECT Program was at risk from being suspended. The program is normally run within school grounds over two terms, with workshops designed to teach students about the nature and causes of domestic violence. Students write lyrics about these issues, and create an original song and film a music video.
With more and more families feeling increased pressure from this Covid-19 situation and the movement restrictions put in place by the Government, messages about domestic violence remain more important than ever, as reports of incidents are increasing.
Fearing their currents students would miss out on the rest of the program, halting the program was not an option for the Outloud team.
“While families are isolating together, it’s more important than ever to be reinforcing ideas of respect and caring for each other. By writing their own lyrics to songs that they then perform and share, the students are embodying the messages in the classes. By sharing their fantastic music videos, we’re spreading the word that this is a new generation of young men who are not only leading by example, but intervening when they see the need,” said Finn O’Branagáin, Outloud’s Artistic Director + CEO.
Determined to keep the program running, the team worked tirelessly to digitise and bring their workshops online. Google Classroom is one platform they are using to create, distribute and assess the activities that would normally run in the face-to-face workshops. “I’m really proud that we can keep delivering the workshops while the students are learning from home. By working with the teachers and delivering the workshops on Google Classrooms, we’re integrating with how the students are already working with their classwork, and making sure they still have access to the program,” Finn O’Branagáin addressed.
The Outloud team also had to find another way to launch the RESPECT music videos. Typically, once the students have had their music video professionally produced, the video would then be launched at their school assembly, giving the RESPECT students, as well as their peers, teachers and parents a first viewing of their music video. With the school restrictions in place, the team instead decided to launch these music videos online on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook Live.
Two of these RESPECT music videos have already been launched and were followed with a flood of positive responses. One of the video launches was also live-streamed on Facebook Live. This enabled people to virtually come together to watch the music video and create a sense of community. The live-stream had students, parents, teachers as well as the wider community tune in, with many having positive comments about the online launch.
WOW!!! Georges Hall Public School you make me feel so proud!!! Congratulations BOYS, from being so shy to now very confident individuals. Your performance is amazing!!! Please spread the message to your peers especially when entering high school. Best wishes always. Thanks to the great team led by Craig. You are all incredible people to work with. Looking forward to the next production!Suzy Biviano
By not postponing these video launches, they are ensuring that these messages about domestic violence from the RESPECT boys would be spread across the community in these increasingly difficult times. You can check out the videos below and leave a comment so the boys can see what you think: