Maggie Malfair, who just completed Grade 7 at Edgewood Elementary School, took charge of a student-led video project that helps introduce new Kindergarten students to the school.

Malfair's video will pave the way for more like it in the future. Please click on the camera icon to view.

Student-led video project a legacy piece for Edgewood

When Kindergarten students begin school at Edgewood Elementary in September – in whatever form their attendance takes – they’ll likely be reintroduced to Maggie Malfair.

Malfair herself will be starting Grade 8 at Duchess Park Secondary. But, in the days leading up to her graduation from Edgewood, she had the starring role in a Welcome to Kindergarten video. In the three-and-a-half-minute clip, Malfair guides viewers on a virtual tour of Edgewood, inside and out. School support staff filmed the footage but Malfair did all the talking, and, when the time came, all the editing. She’d never before taken on such a project but said she didn’t have to step outside her comfort zone to do it.

“I wasn’t really shy about it or anything,” said the 12-year-old Malfair, one of Edgewood’s leadership students for 2019-20. “It was just talking to the camera. Before every shot, I would kind of think up something to say. Usually it would take two or three shots.”

Malfair – a straight-A student during her time at Edgewood – used school software to piece the video together and didn’t find the editing process difficult.

“There were no special effects or anything like that so it was pretty easy,” she said.

Edgewood released the video – the first of its kind at the school – to incoming Kindergartners and their families on YouTube during Welcome to Kindergarten week in late June. Principal Laurie Bryce is impressed with Malfair’s work and the maturity she showed. Bryce regards the video project as the start of a new Edgewood tradition.

“I’m excited for what Maggie has done for our school and the legacy she has left because we’re going to keep doing this now,” she said. “Maggie is very digital too – she’s more digital than most of us adults – so now we can use that as our base.”

Bryce and Edgewood staff members wanted this initiative to be student-led.

“We saw the value of doing it with students who have a talent and an ability,” Bryce said.

“The kids are part of the team, and kids learning from kids is super powerful. They get a lot of adult interaction – a lot of things with the adults but not often with the kids – so we felt this would be a really good opportunity to connect and engage.”

The idea for the Welcome to Kindergarten video came from Edgewood staff, which, earlier in the school year, made its own video to let students know how much they were being missed during the suspension of in-class instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, the ‘welcome’ video was going to feature Malfair and fellow student Evan Yarmish (who were co-emcees at the school Christmas concert) but difficulties in coordinating their schedules led to Malfair going solo.

Due to continuing COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the manner in which students return to learning in September remains uncertain at this time.