Senioritis and spring fever claim more than a few students every year, in part because many who are soon to graduate are already looking outside their classrooms, restless for real-world experiences. In spring 2016 the New York City Lab School in Chelsea partnered with the Pulitzer Center to give their students the chance to use class time to explore their city in small groups, walking familiar and new routes, interviewing people they meet, and reporting on what they find. Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk was the inspiration for the semester-long project. Salopek’s “slow journalism” methods provided the students with a way of looking at everyday sights more deeply, and with fresh eyes. The end result was “the most collaborative project I’ve experienced,” said history teacher Alan Duffy.
Lorraine A. Ustaris shot, edited and produced this video, with additional cinematography by Adnan Khan and footage by Paul Salopek and National Geographic.