Beyond the Black and White
Beyond the Black and White is a district-wide project that aims to highlight the diverse accomplishments of Framingham Schools’ students through exhibitions of and about student work. Through a weekly distribution featuring different articles, we plan to showcase the incredible variety of talent, passion, and stories that make Framingham unique. Though the content will be moving and inspiring, our name reminds readers to look beyond the black and white words on the page and appreciate the people, named or unnamed, behind each piece.
We hope to celebrate not only students who are often appreciated for their academic or extracurricular achievement, but those with a wide range of different abilities, particularly students who have not been recognized. After all, diversity is a foundation for Framingham Schools!
For each submission, please include the student’s full name, current grade, and which Framingham schools the student attended. Additionally, if a photograph of the student is being submitted, please make sure the student consents to having their photo published. Submissions are only accepted from FPS email addresses (@framingham.k12.ma.us or @fpsed.org). We would appreciate any submissions in the following categories.
Seeds of Truth (Creative Writing)
Creative writing is generally taken less seriously than academic writing, and so we would like to support students who explore very real emotions and concepts through creative literature. These “seeds of truth” within fictional works allow us to see realities which may be overshadowed during everyday life.
Requested Material: Short stories and poems, and, if applicable, students may submit a video of spoken word poetry.
Unsung Heroes (Caring Student Actions)
There are many students who go about the community quietly doing good, and few are ever recognized. We want to highlight these students for their often underappreciated service. Teachers and staff are welcome to nominate any student.
Requested Material: Brief description of student and their actions, and, if possible, a photograph of the student.Living Color (Visual Arts)We aim to recognize artistically talented students who work in many media, beyond simply traditional art media or genres such as painting or realism. While this work is obviously wonderful and welcome for submission, we want to show that art can be uncomfortable and raw while also being beautiful. Artwork can be either two or three-dimensional, and we encourage art of any and all levels. Students should not feel like they need to have an extensive art background in order to submit.
Requested Material: Photograph or, if appropriate, video of the artwork, and a short student reflection on their inspiration and the message they hope to convey.
Mentors and Models (Staff Spotlight)
Staff at our schools play a critical role in helping shape students into passionate, driven individuals. This role goes far beyond academic teaching; staff are constant mentors and role models for how students should live their best lives. We hope to recognize any staff member who has an outstanding influence on their school’s community and students. This is not limited to teachers.
Requested Material: Brief description of the staff member’s role and, if possible, a photograph.
Unfiltered (Personal Student Stories)
Although we often wish otherwise, students at our schools have been through extreme hardships in their lives. We’re looking to honor the strength of our students by allowing them to share their own struggles. These struggles may be complete, or they may be ongoing; we know that real life often doesn’t have a neat ending. Students are welcome to submit works anonymously, and we won’t forget how privileged we are to receive these stories, or our responsibility to protect and respect them.
Requested Material: Short, written story. (Stories that contain graphic content can be submitted, but we may contact students about any concerns with extreme language or content.)
The History Of Us (Culture and Tradition)
With diversity being such an important aspect of the Framingham community, we would be remiss not to highlight the various traditions and customs of the students and their families. We hope to promote respect for all cultures, beliefs, and religions through education surrounding unique or community-driven traditions, as well as highlighting the importance of family and community in people’s lives.
Requested Material: Written description of cultural tradition(s) and, if possible, a photograph.
Hindsight 20/19 (Life Advice)
Framingham Schools’ goal, first and foremost, is education, but it’s important to remember that in addition to teaching students academic content, school is also about teaching students how to live good lives. We’re asking Framingham Public School employees, especially teachers, to submit life advice for students of any and all ages, in an effort to give students the messages that they wish they’d heard during their school years.
Requested Material: 1-2 sentences of advice per submission.
Ready to contribute?
Credit and Kudos
'Beyond the Black and White' was created from brainstorming sessions after identifying a need to showcase staff and student stories. The majority of the documentation was created by FHS student, Jenna Riedl (Class of 2019). She came up with the project title, category titles, and drafted all of the behind the scenes writing that supports content solicitation. She also drew the Beyond the Black and White project logo, began staff and student outreach, and organized the project details in a binder and in a series of Google folders.
The Beyond the Black and White video was created by FHS student, Megan Sidmore (Class of 2020). Megan currently produces a weekly segment for Flyer News with a similar structure. Her time-lapse and stop-motion video-art segment supports showcasing each week in History. After one meeting where Megan was introduced to the project concept, she put together a story-board to outline her plans for the video. With a few minor suggestions, the green light gave way to a quick, but impactful video that helps tell the story of the 'Beyond the Black and White' project which will hopefully encourage submissions.
The main languages in the Framingham Public School District are English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Therefore, we solicited help from students and staff to provide the voiceovers which make the video accessible to our community. Thank you Glenda Espinosa, Secondary Two-Way Bilingual Department Head, for finding Citli Valencia Cordova (FHS student, Class of 2021) who created the Spanish audio for the video. Thank you to Renata Hingston, Secretary at Framingham High School, for providing the Portuguese audio for the video.