First 5 Lex Partner Spotlight: Creative Media Productions

We are in the midst of a blog series to show appreciation for our community partners and supporters! Today, we are going to TALK with Robert Lewis, the Coordinator and Educational Television Director at Creative Media Productions. As part of the technology department at Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS), Creative Media Productions promotes the vision and mission of FCPS by visually telling the stories of great work done by the schools and by individuals. To see some of their recent videos, click here.

Let’s learn more about Creative Media Productions in our question and answer session with Robert!

Can you talk about your role with Creative Media Productions, and what a typical day may look like for you?

I am the Coordinator and Educational Television Director for Creative Media Productions. This basically means that I’m in charge of scheduling events, producing and directing. Our department supports the mission of FCPS by highlighting the events and efforts of the district and then visually telling the story.

A typical day for us is trying to determine how we can begin to cover all of the great work that’s happening here. We do that by finding a story to highlight, or by having a story brought to us. We just want to give attention to all the great work that our partners are doing. And we’re more than a video production company, we are actually a television broadcast station as well. We have a channel and broadcast our content to some local cable companies like Metronet, Spectrum and Windstream. We’re also in charge of some of the live events happening in the district and of a lot of the district’s web content.

Can you tell us about Creative Media Productions’ community outreach? What role do you play in the community?

We support and are partners of the school district and the partners of our district. Our reach aligns with wherever our district is and whoever we’re partnering with. We always play a supporting role for that partnership in the community. Our outreach is really based on supporting the district and highlighting the great work that they’re doing. Involvement for us means listening and fulfilling requests for our district’s community partners.

How do your programs align with First 5’s values? / Why was partnering with First 5 Lex a logical fit?

Anything we do here at Creative Media Productions is about supporting others. We highlight the fact that First 5 Lex is an initiative in this district that promotes learning. So we’re in that position and it’s a logical fit because we are always in a supporting role. We can create awareness and presentations that encourage parents and families to learn about First 5 Lex. The mission of First 5 Lex is collaborative - it’s us, Fayette county and all of these partners coming together to create awareness for this necessary resource. We have a big role in it and it’s logical because that’s always been our role - to creatively tell the stories and highlight the great work of First 5 Lex, which is a great, positive initiative that promotes lifelong learning.

How long has Creative Media Productions been a part of the First 5 community team?

We weren’t part of the original group, but we became a part of the initial promotional videos to get the word out about what was coming and where the Read to Me Libraries would be established. We’ve been a part of various aspects of First 5 Lex, and are the production team for Eamonn’s circle time as well. We’ve become very significant to the team in terms of promotion.

Why do you think the First 5 message- to read, talk and play with little ones each day - is so important?

The First 5 message provides opportunities for families to really engage their kids at an early age. I grew up in the housing projects, and there was nothing bad about that, but knowing where First 5 Lex is placing these resources and the efforts that are being made to make sure these resources are available to people who need them is really great. First 5 Lex creates opportunities for kids to learn and for families to encourage their kids to learn. And in return, you get lifelong learners - students and children who are encouraged to learn.

The read, talk and play mission concerns the whole child. Reading is FUNdamental, so it’s important to encourage the child to exercise the mind and the body but also talk and listen. I raised my daughter by talking to her with the same words that I would use when talking to an adult. I wanted to encourage the learning by speaking things that she would question or to understand.

In your opinion, what positive change has First 5 Lex made in the community?

First 5 Lex is a source of hope for learning at an early age and spreads the word that learning is not something that can only happen at school. Learning really does start from cradle to kindergarten and can be encouraged at any age. Starting early allows children to have an advantage. So I would support any work like this, so people can have confirmation and awareness that this is available and can be used by anyone who takes advantage of it.

How do you hope to continue to partner with First 5 in the future?

We will continue to be available to support their work. We understand that not everybody learns the same way or hears the message the same. What we can do is try to continue in the creatively visual storytelling aspect that would allow even the youngest child to comprehend what First 5 Lex is and its significance.

Just for fun:

What is your favorite children’s book to READ?

I’ve always been a visual learner, and while I read books as a child, I enjoyed Highlights magazine the most. Their motto was “fun with a purpose”, and that’s what I sought after when I was younger. I used to love going to dentist or doctor’s appointments because I knew I’d be able to pick up one of those magazines.

If you have an afternoon with nothing scheduled, how would you PLAY?

I love basketball, so I would play with my daughter.

If you could TALK with one person, from the past or present, who would it be, and what would you ask them?

It would not be one person, and it would not be a question. I would probably just be running around handing out a bunch of thank-you notes. There have been a lot of people throughout my life who have poured into me and given me encouragement and advice to allow me to become who I am.

We’d like to give a big thank you to Robert and everybody at Creative Media Productions. Thank you for all the work that you do!

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