A group of independent filmmakers went back to school to find that things have changed. An epidemic of failure and apathy has swept through America's school system. Far from acquiring the critical thinking skills they need to succeed, many students are graduating without mastering the basics...if they graduate at all. One student drops out of public high school every 29 seconds.
Unequal access to quality education may be the greatest Civil Rights issue of our generation.
Dream With Me is a documentary short about the current education crisis in the United States that follows Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's reform team at three public schools. The film also looks at schools in other US cities to show that this problem exists nationwide.
This is a story about men, women, and children who are passionate about changing the face of education. People who are devoted to averting this crisis- a crisis that, if left unchecked, will surely cripple our nation. This is a battle that neither they, nor our country, can afford to lose...after all, what kind of legacy do we want to leave future generations?
As filmmakers and storytellers, we realize that we need to listen to our nation's children and give them a forum in which to share their stories. And their stories are powerful. These students are the ones fighting to succeed, every day, in the trenches of America's classrooms, and their voices should be included in discussions of education reform.
We have been eyewitnesses to some remarkable events: a teacher inspiring change and self-confidence in a child's life by teaching him how to read; a football coach imparting life lessons about commitment, failure, and perseverance when his team won all season, but then lost a crucial game; a teacher coming in to work with struggling students on Saturdays, just to make sure they understand the material and pass the class. We also have seen the heart-wrenching realities facing large numbers of children who are struggling below grade level. For example, one principal gave a simple writing task to a 7th grader who had gotten into trouble. After the boy spent several long moments staring at a blank piece of paper, the principal asked what was wrong. The child looked up at the principal with shame, fear, and tears in his eyes and revealed the harsh truth that he could not read or write. This is just a snapshot of what is happening in every community throughout our country.
As filmmakers, we realize we can do our part to reform the education system by sharing the inspirational stories of hope, and change that can possibly touch, move and inspire a nation to take action. The more we film, the more passionate we become about honoring the voices of the teachers, children and educators we meet.
In truth, we all have an opportunity to influence and inspire a child to reach for his or her dreams.... sometimes we just need to be reminded why it's so important. A movie may be a person's first exposure to a particular topic, raising the awareness that a problem exists; it can also be the beginning of a solution. Dream With Me will bring awareness to the public using the power of media. In order to really affect change in education and become a call-to-action film, it is important to expand our community circle to reach out to all Americans who want to participate in this great movement.
The purpose of the blog and Stories from the Classrooms of America is to create an inspired community that rallies around the importance of education through shared personal stories. This will be a place for administrators, teachers, parents, and students to tell us what is happening in school communities across America.
So, we want to hear your stories to create a dialogue about inspiration, hope, change and the possibility of dreams coming true.
And if you are excited by the possibility of change please consider supporting our cause. Through your support, you have the ability to help inspire parents, teachers, and students across America.
Thank you for joining us in our movement to change the face of education. We believe every child can reach his or her potential to be anything they dream to be. Together we can make a difference in all of our children’s lives.
Dream With Me Team