Long Island children of all abilities enjoyed some time in the spotlight on Aug. 29 with the help of Minute Masters, an organization created by two educators from Lynbrook that produces inclusive educational videos.
Minute Masters is a subscription-based video series that was started by Lynbrook natives Kerrie Hall, a pediatric occupational therapist, and Julia Garvey, a special-education teacher, with the goal of fostering confidence and independence in children of varying abilities. Hall and Garvey began offering inclusive dance classes in 2018, and they decided to create minute-long videos of their lessons to help students remember what they had learned from week to week.
Wanting to reach more children, Hall and Garvey were inspired to take the idea a step further and create a series of videos on a wide range of educational topics. Because each video in the series is a minute long or less, they dubbed it Minute Masters.
To celebrate the official launch of Minute Masters, they hosted a Red Carpet Premiere at Bellmore Movies and Showplace on Aug. 29. The children who were featured in the videos got a chance to dress up, pose for photos on the red carpet and see themselves on the big screen.
“The Red Carpet premiere was for the children who starred in our videos,” Hall said. “Our videos have children both with and without special needs, so we have representation of all learner types within it. We just wanted to do whatever we could to make them all feel like superstars and give them and their families something to celebrate, so it was a really, really special day.”
Hempstead resident Karen Navarro, who attended the event with her 10-year-old daughter, Adryana, said the children there were treated “like they were movie stars.” She praised Minute Masters as a solid resource for Adryana, who has spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
“Adryana loves to dance — she dances in her wheelchair, but she loves to dance,” Navarro said.
Watching Minute Masters videos, Adryana has been able to pursue her love of dancing and grow increasingly confident, Navarro explained. The series features different categories of videos, so students can learn not only dances, but also songs, healthy habits and more.
“It gave her a chance to do what she loves the most and really helped her build her confidence,” Navarro said. “It’s such a great idea for children of any ability to be able to exercise or just de-stress from school or anything that’s going on in their lives.”
The videos are particularly useful because Hall and Garvey used their respective areas of expertise, along with research on child development and sensory processing, to base them around proven strategies for educating children. From the short video lengths to the assortment of video categories like “Brain Breaks” and “Sensory Station,” the series is tailored to maintain engagement and support students’ emotional and physical well-being.
“The pacing of the videos makes it easy for them to follow along with,” Garvey said. “They’re able to express themselves and learn new skills, and it’s really increased their confidence. It’s amazing to see our whole vision come to life, and these children really benefit from it.”
Looking ahead, Hall and Garvey said they hope to reach children everywhere with the video series, and the online format has made their lessons especially accessible. Visit minutemasters.org for more information.