Hill Talk: From Students’ Lenses

Posted October 2, 2009 at 3:17pm

Some youthful photographers will display their work in an exhibit in the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda today through Friday. Critical Exposure, the 21st Century School Fund and the Healthy Schools Campaign asked students across the country to photograph crumbling school facilities.

A judging panel picked the best pictures based on geographical diversity, the range of school issues depicted and how clearly they convey the action that needs to be taken, explained Adam Levner, co-founder and co-director of Critical Exposure. The top 25 photographs out of more than 400 entered will be shown in the exhibit “Through Your Lens.—

A reception from 5 to 7 p.m. in Russell Room 385 will kick off the exhibit today. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) was expected to send a letter encouraging his colleagues to attend. As a member and now the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Harkin has championed public education-related causes. His advocacy lines up with the goals of the three sponsoring organizations.

“We would like for Senators and Representatives to have a clear understanding of the need to address disparities of public school facilities and to take some form of action to address those disparities,— Levner said.

Levner’s group equips students with cameras to document issues in public schools. Critical Exposure has partnered before with the 21st Century School Fund, whose goal is to improve the condition of urban schools in the District and across the United States. The Chicago-based Healthy Schools Campaign has a similar vision: “Our mission is to advocate for policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment,— according to HSC’s Web site.