Since 2011, Clapboard Kids has been offering filmmaking workshops, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of filmmakers and digital storytellers through our hands-on dynamic classes.

The following are a few “shout outs” about Clapboard Kids:

Student Testimonials: 

“There are so many great things I loved about Clapboard Kids. I loved the way that we made short silent films at the beginning and then gradually worked our way up to learning filming terms, writing scripts, and making stop motion films! Clapboard Kids was an awesome experience for me and if you are looking for a totally amazing film making program…. Clapboard films is just for you!” -Jenna, 9 year old Clapboard Kids student

“I had the best time in Clapboard Kids film. You can make stop motion films, regular films and lots of other filming things that I love. Valerie is great! She always helps and makes you feel comfortable no matter how shy you are. Clapboard Kids film is awesome! I highly recommend it.” -Emma, 10 year old Clapboard Kids student

“Clapboard Films was an amazing experience. It teaches you about how films are made, all the different components of filmmaking and how films were made in the early years of filmmaking. I have taken Clapboard Films for three sessions and I enjoyed every one of them. You should try it too!” -Mitchell, 11 year old Clapboard Kids student

“In my opinion, Clapboard Kids Film is a great program! I’m really into making movies and other things related to that (e.g. stop motion), and this program had all of that. For all the sessions I’ve done Clapboard Kids, I’ve done silent films, stop motion, short movies, filming games, voice overs, and much more! It’s a great program, and probably one of my favourites. No lie!” -Craig, 11 year old Clapboard Kids student

“I totally enjoyed Clapboard Kids! I really liked the stop-motion animation when you take a picture, then you take another, and then you take about 100 more and it turns out to be a 25 second movie. It’s really cool!” -Shea, 9 year old Clapboard Kids student

Parent Testimonials:

“Our three children have taken Valerie’s Clapboard Kids film workshops many times, and year-over-year it remains their favourite after school activity. It is clear to us that Valerie brings a wealth of professional experience in filmmaking, and combines it with a deep respect and love for the students. Her passion for sharing her knowledge both inspires and guides them in their curiosity about filmmaking, with amazing results.

They have learned about all elements of movie making, from creating the story and the script, to blocking shots, to filming and acting. More so, they are confident in their craft, relish in the creative process, and have learned the importance of working collaboratively with their peers. They then bring their learning and passion home and spend hours making their own movies with friends or independently with toys. Clapboard Kids is an incredibly unique program whose benefits and learning extend far beyond just filmmaking itself. We highly recommend it!” –Silvia, Clapboard Kids parent

Dear Valerie: Thank you so much for all of the attention, patience, perseverance and love you have given Orian and Galia this year. They enjoyed film immensely and are looking forward to more next year! –Ronit, Clapboard Kids parent

“The many times my daughter has participated in the Clapboard Kids filmmaking sessions, she has thoroughly enjoyed it. This program enhances creativity, working as a group, and self-esteem. It is so much fun, my daughter asks to come back time and time again. The program includes the creation of a story, full participation in the filming, character development, prop and set creation, costumes and scene filming.
Valerie manages to include all of the kids, allowing them to participate in the creative process. From beginning to end, the kids are amazed at how a story develops. And, when they see the final movie, they cannot believe they made it themselves!
It is truly remarkable how much is accomplished in such a short period of time. As a parent, I have been repeatedly amazed at the quality and variety of films made, as well as the learning that has taken place for my daughter. The productions reflect the guidance of a passionate and professional filmmaker who truly loves sharing her filmmaking knowledge with the students.
I can’t imagine a better way to spend kids’ extra curricular time than filmmaking with Clapboard Kids. My daughter loves it, and can’t wait to take it again! We highly recommended it!”

-Helene, Clapboard Kids parent

“For several years now, my son and I have excitedly sat down at the end of term to watch the movies he has helped create with Clapboard Kids – it has become a special moment we anticipate and savor. As a former film student, I have a deep appreciation for the art and process of film-making, and am very impressed with the way in which Valerie involves the children every step of the way. My son understands how audio-visual media is created, from scripts, story boards, camera angles, and costumes, to how each piece is put together to create a cohesive whole at the end.

In today’s media-heavy world, it is a tremendous support for me as a parent; it is much easier to help my son deconstruct ads, videos and other media messages now that he knows how they are constructed in the first place. Clapboard Kids encourages the children to engage creatively with each step of the movie-making process, to explore different roles through both writing and acting, and to experience the tremendous satisfaction of sharing their work. Every year I see my son grow in poise and confidence as he takes on various roles, and I see his joy and enthusiasm when he talks about the program, and especially when we get to watch the movies. We love Clapboard Kids!”  –Andrea, Clapboard Kids parent

Dear Valerie: Thank you so much for working with Sarah and Ben on the film workshop. They really enjoyed themselves and the actual film was FANTASTIC! Thank you again! -Kelly, Clapboard Kids parent

“My children have been involved in Clapboard Kids film workshops at their school for a number of years now. Each time they come home with a copy of their finished product, our family gathers together on the couch with anticipation. We are always so impressed with the quality of the movies that they help create! But, more than anything – we enjoy watching them learn and have so much fun. Thank you Valerie for all the effort you put into their experience and for your expertise as well!” -Benita, proud Clapboard Kids parent of two film stars

School Testimonials:

“Clapboard Kids is brilliant! The creative brainchild of talented, award-winning filmmaker Valerie Weiss, Clapboard Kids is a fabulous filmmaking program that gives children a unique venue for self-expression, active problem solving, as well as hands-on technical filmmaking instruction and so much more. In fact, the program is so popular, that it has run for 5 solid years at our school. Students and families simply love it!

In the 5 years it has run, I have been consistently impressed by the quality of productions, along with the wide range of filmmaking techniques taught to the students. I have also seen a large number of classes in action, and am always delighted by the children’s engagement and sheer joy in the process!

Valerie is fabulous at working with a wide range of ages (grades 1 to 8), and is adept at working with mixed age groups. But, what has consistently come through in her work at MJDS is her deep respect for the students and their ideas, listening closely to where they want to go with their films (what she terms her “ear to the ground” teaching approach). It is truly inspiring to watch the process unfolding. Starting from the birth of an idea, children are guided through fun and engaging exercises, games and discussions to help them create their film productions.

Having witnessed the marvellous outcomes of the Clapboard Kids after-school program, I then invited Valerie to create a curriculum-based media course for our Middle School, which has been incredibly successful. For this group, Valerie created a more complex and comprehensive program – with, yet again, wonderful results. The pride with which the Middle School students present their finished films is a testament to the inspiring and passionate teaching that occurs through the workshops. Clapboard Kids truly is amazing!” Regina Lulka, Head of School, MJDS

“Clapboard Kids offers an exceptionally unique, creative and enriching filmmaking program for kids. Taught by a professional and award-winning filmmaker, Valerie’s passion and love for sharing her vast filmmaking knowledge with the students has made it one of the longest-running and most popular after-school programs ever offered at our school. Now in it’s 5th year at MJDS – it only continues to grow in popularity!

There are many educational benefits to the program. It teaches solid filmmaking and storytelling skills, fosters collaboration and team-work, and is a wonderful way for students to express themselves and build confidence creatively and socially.

Lastly, as a school administrator – dealing with Valerie is a pleasure. She is professional, passionate and extremely dedicated. But, most importantly – the students and parents love her program! Could you ask for anything more?”
-Matti, Director of School Administration, MJDS

Dear Valerie: Thank you for a successful year of the Film Lunch club! Participating students loved it, and many wanted to attend a second time. Let’s discuss over the summer what may work for next school year! Warm Regards, Sarah, Lunch Club Coordinator, Paul Penna DJDS