The Winter 2012 issue of Tikkun magazine features a great series of articles on restorative justice, including pieces by Kay Pranis (an advisor on my Peacemaking Circle project) and by Fania Davis and Rita Alfred, whom I've worked with in documenting restorative justice in Oakland, CA. There's also a photo I took of a peacemaking circle at the now-closed Cole Middle School in Oakland.
The final details of Indelible Lalita are finally getting taken care of. On Wednesday we recorded the remaining music for the film with Brian Cass at Sounds Interesting Studio in Middleborough. Carla Kihlstedt (playing pump organ above, but mostly playing violin and voice) and Geni Skendo did a fantastic job... helped by great music by Jorrit Dijsktra (maybe I'm biased, since he's my husband).
In January we'll do our sound mix, followed by the online. Can't wait!
This fall I worked with Jeanne Blake of Words Can Work to produce three videos about kids and healthy lifestyles. The pieces premiered on November 15 at a forum at the Massachusetts Statehouse called "Talking with Kids about Healthy Lifestyles." The discussion focused how teachers, parents, and other caring adults can positively impact young people's lives by talking - and listening - sensitively to them about nutrition, physical activity, and weight.
I had the pleasure of filming three young people - Khaaliqa, Keron, and Chloe - and the adults in their lives who have made a difference.
We're so pleased to have Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness joining us as consulting producer for Indelible Lalita. Marie is providing great feedback on cuts, and is helping with the film's distribution.
A specialist in the adaption of theater and film across multiple media and languages, Marie has been involved in films appearing in festivals of Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Prague, Paris, Clermont-Ferrand, and Locarno. Born in Paris, France, she completed research work at la Sorbonne in 2001, and has accumulated experience in various independent multimedia production formats, including screenwriting, literature, translation, television, theater and film. She has recently produced Ross McElwee’s new film Photographic Memory, which premiered at the 2011 Venice Biennale.
The Spiral Foundation is now selling a DVD we produced of their SAFE PLACE workshop on parenting strategies for facilitating attachment and sensory regulation. Clinical psychologist Dan Hughes and occupational therapist/developmental psychologist Jane Koomar present an engaging, content-rich session for parents facing these issues.
School leaders in Hidalgo, Texas - a rural district of about 4,000 students near the Mexican border - made a commitment in 2005: all of their students would earn college credits before graduating from high school. Working with the Early College High School Initiative at Jobs for the Future (funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), they created a school system that focuses on preparing students for college - including English language learners, under-performing students, and those whose parents have little education themselves.
The district partners with local colleges, provides extensive support for individual students, and challenges students to take college-level courses. In the process, students are exposed to a "college-going culture," which eases their transition to higher education upon graduation.
By 2010, the first class graduated from Hidalgo Early College High School - two thirds of them with a semester or more of college credit. According to Jobs for the Future, Hidalgo's success is becoming a model for school districts around the country. There are currently 230 early college schools serving 50,000 students around the country.
I have just finished editing a video from existing material that gives a voice to the students' experience at this school. The video will be part of the Hidalgo Early College District Toolkit, designed to help other schools replicate Hidalgo's vision of college success for all.