IndyKids- Newspaper by Kids for Kids

By Elizabeth Tornheim

indykids1For kids, the news can seem a bit dull. I mean, after all, its only adults watching the news every night right?

Indykids, a free newspaper written by kids, used the opportunity to report the news from a different perspective. No longer would the news consist of sitting next to your parents with your eyes glazed over, as confusing words and phrases were thrown at you. Instead, kids would be able to learn about events happening across the globe as reported by their peers.

In 2005, independent journalists, teachers, and students recognized the need to engage young kids in social change; and thus, Indykids was born. Once a month, a handful of students from the New York area produce a free newspaper about global issues. Kid reporters, ranging from ages 10 to 16 cover articles about the world, politics, science and the environment, and even book and movie reviews. In the past five years, the newspaper’s popularity has expanded, and now it reaches kids in nearly 200 classrooms across the United States. The newspaper encourages kids to take interest in world affairs and allows for kids to form their own opinions about what is happening around the world.

Teachers use the newspaper within the classroom as a teaching tool, for the newspaper provides activities to engage its readers through vocabulary development, critical thinking, and discussion. Chris Johnson, a teacher from Chicago recognizes that IndyKids has allowed students to “see that other younger people [are] making a difference in their communities” and has “encouraged…student groups to actually implement their own projects.” And yet, it isn’t just the teachers who have noticed the impact that the newspaper has had on the younger generation. Julian Rocha, a ten year old from Vancouver expresses how she “want[ed] to learn about different things happening around the world…but the way [they were] explain[ed] [in the news and newspaper was] so complicated.” Reading about world events by fellow peers provides a different angle, and has inspired kids to have a passion for social change.

Not only is IndyKids a great way for youth to become aware of what is happening worldwide, but it is also essential for the younger generation to have a enthusiasm for social activism. By encouraging kids’ curiosity about the world IndyKids has allowed for youth to form their own opinions and take their own actions towards justice and peace.

Check out the IndyKids review of Shine Global’s film THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA by IK Reporter ROBERT IVKO, age 12:

Want to join IndyKids as a Kid Reporter?
Attend one of the free, introductory workshops this Fall, where you can learn how to get started.
Saturday, October 15, 2011; 2-4pm
Saturday, October 29th, 2011; 2-4pm
Tompkins Square Library (in Manhattan, NYC)
331 East 10th Street, near Avenue B
If you can’t make the workshops, don’t worry. You can still be a Kid Reporter. Just send an email to: telling them that you’re interested!


ALMA Special Achievement Award for The Harvest-La Cosecha

Eva Longoria ALMA awards 2011

Eva Longoria, Executive Producer, accepts the Special Achievement Award for THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA at the 2011 NCLR ALMA awards

The Harvest/La Cosecha is honored to have received a Special Achievement Award at the 2011 NCLR ALMA awards. Thank you to all of those who made The Harvest/La Cosecha possible including: Director U. Roberto Romano, Executive Producers Susan MacLaury and Albie Hecht, Producer Rory O’Connor and of course Executive Producer Eva Longoria who accepted the award in person.

The Harvest/La Cosecha, Shine Global’s latest film, tells the story of three of the more than 400,000 American children who are torn away from their friends, schools and homes to pick the food we all eat. Zulema, Perla and Victor labor as migrant farm workers, sacrificing their own childhoods to help their families survive. The film profiles these three as they journey from the scorching heat of Texas’ onion fields to the winter snows of the Michigan apple orchards and back south to the humidity of Florida’s tomato fields to follow the harvest. “It’s important that we know this is happening in the United States” said Eva Longoria in her acceptance speech, “the most well fed nation in the world is exploiting this labor force of children.”

The Harvest/La Cosecha will premier on EPIX pay cable on October 5th and the DVD is now available for pre-order from Cinema Libre Studio

The ALMA awards, broadcast on NBC on Friday September 16th, are a one-of-a-kind tribute to the spirit of pioneering Latinos in television, film, and music. It is an opportunity to applaud the incredible, enriching contributions that Latinos make to American culture and celebrate our country’s Hispanic heritage.
Since 1995, the NCLR ALMA Awards has promoted fair, accurate, and representative portrayals of Latinos in entertainment. As they honor the incredible talent of our community, they expect new generations to learn from the examples set by awardees such as Salma Hayek, Shakira, Narciso Rodriguez, America Ferrera, Edward James Olmos, and many more.

You can view the full pre-show at

September Screenings of The Harvest

Viva Fest!
San Jose, CA
September 24th, 2011 7:00pm
for more info visit

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
San Antonio, TX
September 25th, 2011
for more info visit:

If you are interested in bringing The Harvest/La Cosecha to your community, please contact

Inocente: Become a Filmmaker with Shine!

Shine’s next film INOCENTE is done shooting and is currently in post-production looking towards a festival premier in early 2012.

INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past – – a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation.

INOCENTE is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America, children. Neither sentimental nor sensational, INOCENTE will immerse you in the very real, day-to-day existence of a young girl who is battling a war that we rarely see. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do.

You can view the trailer below:

Become a filmmaker with Shine Global by donating to help us finish the film. Every donation helps us tell the story of the new face of homelessness in America: children.