Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Waterbury Republican Article

Thursday, May 21, 2015 1:05 AM EDT
Wilby grad puts Driggs on map
From Waterbury to the New York Times and beyond

WATERBURY — Growing up in Waterbury, Sarah Brady Voll always wanted to travel the globe. Her love of video production blossomed at Wilby High School, thanks to teacher Scott Serafine.

In the past seven months, Brady Voll merged these passions as a contracted audio specialist working with the New York Times on a highly stylized video travel feature called "36 Hours." The project uses sharp video production and well-blended audio and music to highlight the culture of destinations around the world.

Brady Voll, 33, of Queens, has visited Strasbourg, Milan, Columbia, Austria, Croatia, Sante Fe and 15 other destinations since October. And, in a way, she's taken students from Driggs Elementary School along for the ride.

Brady Voll's mother, Charlotte Brady, is the library-media specialist at Driggs. She's made a schoolwide project of following her daughter's international exploits. Students have created diamond-shaped pennants featuring the cities visited to hang in the library. Where the New York Times focuses on activities for adults in the visited cities, Driggs students focused on activities for children among the various cultures.

It began with Brady sharing a photo blog of her daughter's destinations. From there, the project "snowballed," she said, and became a favorite of Driggs students. Brady said students constantly ask where her daughter is traveling next.

For Brady, it helped drive home the point that Waterbury students, like her daughter, can accomplish any goal.

On Tuesday, Brady Voll visited Driggs, with a crew of four New York Times contractors and one producer, all of whom volunteered their time to work with students to create a "36 Hours" piece focusing on Driggs and Waterbury.

Ten students wearing red polo shirts were trained as the assistant film crew. Students held the microphone boom, helped manage the camera, and even conducted interviews with the lunch staff, Principal Michael Theriault and others. All of this was done under the careful tutelage of the New York Times crew.

Brady Voll said it felt "really good" to show students a slice of the broader world, and potential career opportunities.

"I was one of them," Brady Voll said. "It's nice for them to know they can do whatever they want."