The videos were made in 2015 as part of a project connected with a documentary series called “Back to School” that was available on PBS Wide Angle for a number of years. It followed seven children in different countries and their access to education as they got older, contrasting social and economic barriers and privileges. Even though my students complained about school, they were always outraged that another child might be denied this opportunity!
The students in my classes are frequently living in marginalized communities and over the years I rarely find that they realize the parallels in the documentary and their own experiences. It is one of the ironies of segregation, marginalized children can be so isolated that they don’t not realize that they are in fact marginalized.
Over the years there were different projects in response. The most fantastic project was when the class decided to send a girl to school after seeing the statistics for girls in the developing world. They researched charities and chose a girl in Uganda and decided on a car wash to raise money. The student who organized it all had been left on the streets by his father during winter break only a month prior and had spent the winter in the Salvation Army. The day of the car wash all of the students’ families showed up with their cars, none of those parents and cousins and aunts and uncles had an extra $10.00 or would ever pay fr a car wash! It was kind of magical how they raised several hundred dollars and a girl went to school for a year.
Anyway! the last year that PBS had documentaries available the class made videos for their projects with themes of importance to them. Below are a few videos, it was such a crazy year there was no way to assist in editing so they are rough, but I think they make their point.