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We create understanding through storytelling.

BYkids - Their World, Their Films

New York City
BYkids produces documentary films by kids to inspire conversations around global issues of human dignity and social justice. Sharing stories of kids (through PBS, Discovery Education and PenPal Schools) who confront issues like immigration, bullying, climate change and child marriage, we reach kids, teachers and parents with teaching materials that promote empathy and understanding.
Introduction

Our Mission

BYkids believes that we can understand the world’s challenges — and how to best meet them — through the personal stories of young people.

BYkids is a global movement that uses storytelling through film to inform, engage and inspire action.

BYkids provides kids around the world with the training and the video cameras to make short documentaries about their lives. Renowned filmmakers mentor these young people in the art of filmmaking.

Through innovative distribution platforms – including streaming into classrooms by Discovery Education, screenings by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the UN Association of NY, and, notably, the national series on Public Television – BYkids films enable fresh perspectives on issues from poverty, disease, displacement, civil war, repression, to access to education and tolerance to be experienced by a global community.

Millions of people are joining our movement, seeing our films, developing and engaging with our educational curriculum and supporting the production of a new series of films.

EDUCATION

WNET | PBS LearningMedia | PenPal Schools

Free, standards-aligned educational resources, designed to be integrated into middle/high school curricula, engage students in meaningful conversations about world problems.

Instructional webinar hosted by WNET and accessible to all educators is promoted to more than 170,000 educators worldwide, including middle, Jr., and high school librarians, social studies and world history teachers.

Collection of materials accessible via PBS LearningMedia web portal, with more than 1.6 million subscribers, is available to all educators nationwide.

Companion course connects students globally around the films via social media and is available to all educators through PenPal Schools, an online learning community with more than 250,000 student and teacher subscribers from 150 countries.

IMPACT

The impact of these films is apparent at every screening. We see the joyful and at times, tearful reactions of our audiences, who consistently ask thoughtful questions in our post-screening discussions. Assessment tells more of the story.

After screening MY COUNTRY IS TIBET (the story of a young royal who retains his traditional culture in the face of persecution) for teachers at the national conferences for the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning and National Association of Independent Schools, we surveyed the audience:

  • 95% of teachers surveyed said that they would definitely use BYkids films and resources in their classrooms.
  • 83% of teachers found the film highly engaging.
  • 83% of teachers thought their students would find the film very or highly engaging.

As importantly, a questionnaire administered to a broadly representative group of students who viewed MY COUNTRY IS TIBET told us that:

100% of students said they would like to see BYkids films in their classrooms.

They found the film helped to expand their knowledge and understanding of world cultures and traditions.

100% of students were interested in doing a media project on what ‘home’ means to them.

Read more ›
Innovation Overview
ALL
Target Group
249 000 000
Children/Users
8
Countries
2007
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
117
Views
Tips for implementation
Our nine films and educational material is available at: https://www.thirteen.org/programs/films-by-kids/. Additionally, the standards-aligned BYkids School Guides and Take Action guides for each film can be found at: https://bykids.org/for-teachers/
Contact information
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Milestones

Achievements & Awards

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