St. Paul Police and Average Mohamed Outreach

We worked with Saint Paul Police Outreach Program. Average Mohamed worked with kids from community of Saint Paul, lower Afton Neighborhood of McKnight. We used Highwood Elementary School space. A collaboration of the Police Department, City of Saint Paul and Saint Paul School District for space. Our role was to teach narrative, what it is, how it is, how to create it, how to story board it, how to act it out, record it with video, edit it and create a message. A process for six months of weekly lessons. The skills we imparted is public speaking, conscious thinking about their city, their police force, their stories that they wanted to share and build video literacy. We worked with 30 kids, mostly boys from the neighborhood. They created the videos below. Kids created narrative or story, directed, edited, acted and formatted to be released to the general public. They choose three messages.

A Day at McKnight Court : The kids every Tuesday during winter get a safe space to play basketball. Saint Paul Police Department in collaboration with Highwood Elementary School supply space and basket balls. The officer come to play with the youth, usually around 30-50 kids. The kids wanted to showcase this brilliant use of community policing. How they get to play in a safe environment, interact with police as friends and coaches. This they believed is the best use of our police force. Nothing says they care than this act of community policing. They wanted this story out to the public to spur other police departments and cities in America to emulate.

Bullying: 21% of kids aged 12-18 experience bullying. Bullying occurs in many forms. The kids wanted to narrate how we can together with awareness overcome bullying. This was an issue which they all agreed happens far too often. The kids created a message to other kids as to the process of making sure they can prevent bullying. They acted it out in a scenario and explained the forms of bullying, with tips on what to do and advocated to stop bullying. The kids created the video, acted in it, edited it and formatted it from their own narrative from research.

Community outreach Officers: In the class we were helped tremendously by the Community Outreach officer Shirwa Warsame. The kids did not understand his role. He was an officer who did not carry a gun and worked with the community exclusively reporting back to commanders and police chief on the state of the community. The kids wanted to highlight the role community officers play in Saint Paul. They were curious as to what exactly he did. They interviewed him. Shirwa Warsame knew their parents, their clergy, their neighborhood business leaders, their school administrators and worked to facilitate meaningful engagement. From the interview we learn this is the 21st century police engagement. Meet with the community, build relationship, keep open channels and come together for collective solutions. The police should not only interact with the community during crisis or is not an occupying force. A softer approach to community police relationship. Building a better society. A more cohesive society. Khalid did the interview, the kids created the questions, directed the video, edited it and formatted it.

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