Friday, May 14, 2010


I’m spending more time on our facebook page, and less time here. I have no idea if anyone reads what I write here, as I am too internet illiterate still to figure out about page hits. But here I am on a Friday night, just finished making a list of film festivals to apply to, and with a bit of time to update the blog before we go out for Indian food.

As part of preparing to submit to festivals I am starting to gather testimonials from educators and policy makers. They inspire me, and hopefully will make others curious enough to go see the film! Here’s what I have so far:

“At a time when a wave of standardization is turning our schools into test prep programs and impoverishing our visions of what schools can be, this film reminds us that powerful, engaging, child-centered, curriculum-rich, community-rooted schooling still lives. Never shouting or preaching, this film is both a detailed depiction of a year in the life of a vibrant learning community and a quiet call to arms to defend and expand authentic education for all children.”
--Monty Neill,
Executive Director The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest)
and chair of the Forum on Educational Accountability

“The film provides concrete evidence that this kind of education is not pie in the sky, or only for the very rich. It’s being done and needs to be done more. As a parent, my heart aches to think how many more children could have access to that kind of exciting, stimulating, nurturing environment but still don't.”
--Lisa Guisbond
Outreach Coordinator Science of the Eye – Bringing Vision into the Classroom Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“As a County Supervisor, I am treated to many rewarding presentations of art in all of its media forms. What moved me to single out this work for your consideration is its quiet, forceful illustration of children’s natural capacity to become informed, considerate participants in all aspects of life. That is achieved through the filmmaker‘s patient perspective, capturing seemingly routine class encounters as they blossom into individual discoveries and a social framework that will serve the students throughout their lives. The film welcomes all viewers, requiring no formal understanding of the educational theories at work while exquisitely illustrating the full spectrum of human emotion that accompanies the learning process. As the work progresses, it clearly avoids showcasing shining stars, opting instead to reinforce the potential that lies within each of us when encouraged and supported.”
--Steve Kinsey,
Marin County Board of Supervisors

"August To June is an inspiring documentary film about one classroom across one year. With its close attention to all the different ways a teacher works with children, both singly and in groups, the film portrays the full complexity of expert teaching. It also shows how much a teacher can do to support the growth of children as emotional, social, and intellectual beings when parents and school agree to throw off the shackles of standardized testing.”
Helen Featherstone,
Associate Professor Emerita of Teacher Education Michigan State University, Adjunct Professor of Education, Brandeis University, editor:Transforming Teacher Education: Reflections from the Field
Helen and her husband Joseph have been writing about open education since the publication of Joseph’s seminal book Schools Where Children Learn in 1971

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