See 1st Grade Through Different Eyes

If you are an adult reading this blog post, think about what it would be like to go back to 1st grade. It could be fun, if you’ve already done it once. But now imagine you’ve never stepped foot in a classroom. You’ve never learned to read. And you’re 84 years old.

This Friday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m., Wildwood’s Student Task Force (STF) will host a screening of the film The First Grader, a film about an illiterate 84-year-old Kenyan tribesman who takes up his government’s offer for a free education. The event will take place at the middle and upper campus. Click this link for a preview: The First Grader trailer

Maruge (Oliver Litondo) at his desk, towering over his classmates in The First Grader, written by Ann Peacock, directed by Justin Chadwick.The First Grader is a BBC Films, UK Film Council in association with Videovision Entertainment, Lip Sync and ARTE France, a Sixth Sense/Origin Pictures Production. ©2009 Photo courtesy of Kerry Brown.

Tickets are $7 for students and teachers and $12 for all other guests. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Human Rights Mobile Library Funds.

STF is a natural outgrowth of Wildwood’s human rights course, which is required for all Senior Institute students. The optional club focuses on a different area of interest each year. In the past, they’ve rallied for child soldiers, human rights in Darfur, and rights for incarcerated teens. Read more about STF on pages 12-14 of Volume 29 of Our Wildwood.

This year, STF is focused on the “Right to Education.” Inspired by the 2011 Human Rights Watch report Schools as Battlegrounds, the campaign creates awareness and takes action to confront the barriers that deny children education locally and internationally, including gender discrimination, poverty and hunger, war and conflict, disabilities, cultural and social divides, HIV and AIDS.

As part of the Right to Education campaign, students are creating educational materials and fundraising for Human Rights Mobile Libraries that will travel within Darfuri refugee camps in southeastern Chad. The mobile libraries will emphasize human rights and provide English language instruction, per refugee students’ requests. The libraries will utilize Kindles and online technologies to provide resources and curriculum that will travel via donkey to UN-mandated schools within two refugee camps.

Come support a worthy cause, and enjoy a great film in the process!

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