Summer Opportunities students in Ric Ballin’s photography classes are learning how to truly see the world – both with and without their cameras. In addition to becoming skilled at making photographs, students are hoping to bring a new perspective to their fellow Summer Opportunities students about the need to keep the local food pantry stocked during the summer.
“The food pantry has little problem receiving food donations during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, but during the summer months, donations drop off even though the need is still there,” Ballin said.
With Ballin’s leadership, photography students in his Summer Opportunities photography classes organized a food drive to benefit the Sussex Food Pantry. Students were asked to contribute nonperishable food items so that people within the community will not go hungry during the summer. Ballin’s class was joined by students in Kathyrn Cluka’s special education class who have worked diligently to collect the food items from each classroom and deliver them to the photography students for sorting and packaging. In addition, this year Ballin asked students in his photography classes to photograph food that fellow Summer Opportunities students donated to the food drive.
“It has been a total team effort,” Ballin said.
As Ballin helps students capture the beauty within the community, his goal is to help them become aware of its needs.
“The consequence of being observant is to ultimately care about what you see,” he said, quoting the master photographer Dorthea Lang. According to Ballin, she also said, “The camera is an instrument to help us see without the camera.”