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Commonwealth students bring stories to life

  • 21_news_CCA3.JPG
    Lydia Horming works on her clay characters during an animation workshop by Box of Light Studios on Monday at Commonwealth Charter Academy in Andreas. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS
Published March 21. 2017 02:46PM

Things got animated in a good way Monday at the Commonwealth Charter Academy in Andreas.

Courtesy of Box of Light Studios in Bloomsburg, students learned how to create storyboards, construct sets and characters, and use digital tablets to capture their scenes, before doing each of those tasks themselves to end up with a short animated film.

Around 50 students, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade, worked in groups which, according to CCA staff, promoted the idea of collaboration and team problem solving.

“The students get to see and do the entire animation process, which I think is great for them to experience,” said Stephanie Goforth, CCA staff member. “It’s amazing to see the ideas they come up with and then they get to work with their peers and put out a product they can be proud of.”

Ruth Huey worked in a group that created a person who was going on vacation.

“The person really wanted to have an adventure and see animals, so they went to the zoo,” Huey said. “It’s a lot of fun getting to do the characters with clay and then turn that into a movie.”

After creating storyboards, students used Totem Poppet animals as the figures for their animation.

“The animals come with different information on them so the students are also learning about the penguins and the cats they are using,” Goforth said.

Another group summoned warmer weather by creating a beach scene.

Lydia Horming said she enjoyed the activity because she is hoping for a career in animation.

“We have an internship program here at CCA, so hopefully that is something Lydia could get involved in,” Goforth said. “The students didn’t just learn animation today, they learned about the possible careers they could get into. Down the road, maybe this could help them make a career choice.”

Horming’s scene featured a man snuggling up with his dog on the couch.

Box of Light visits schools around the state to do its stop-motion animation workshops.

“This is a phenomenal educational activity,” said Rand Whipple, director of Box of Light. “It has art, media flow and literacy, and it has social skills in communication. We want them to collaborate, speak to one another, have fun and come out of it with something that they’ve created that they will ask others to watch.”

After polishing off their finished products, students joined their parents in watching the videos Monday afternoon at the school.

All movies will also be available on the Box of Light website at

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