News Category: Current Events
Over 70 years, the UNICEF organization has had a simple yet profoundly challenging mission to accomplish — “Equity: A Fair Chance For Every Child”. The UNICEF club of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton helps raise awareness and funds to support the global missions of UNICEF, and education is one of the many areas of focus for UNICEF.
Today’s children are tomorrow’s global citizens, and every child has the right to an education. Education changes lives, raises the socio-economic levels, reduces inequality gaps, and shapes a productive society for tomorrow. It all begins with becoming proficient in a language that is used as the medium of instruction, something so basic and obvious but critical to the advancement of learning. If a child is unable to comprehend the instructions and knowledge that is shared in the classroom, it affects learning and self-confidence. To understand these challenges at hand, look no further than the short film Immersion, for a “picture” is worth a thousand words.
Immersion illustrates the challenges of learning in a classroom when language becomes a barrier. The film is written and directed by Dr. Richard Levien, a theoretical physicist turned film editor and director, who lives in San Francisco. Immersion won the Best Bay Area Short Film at the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award in 2009. Many school districts and universities around the US use Immersion to support education about English language learners. You can watch the film at: http://www.immersionfilm.com.
Dr. Levien is not resting on his laurels; he is deeply involved in the post-production of his next film Collisions. You can catch the trailer and support the creation of the film at the crowdfunding site Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/collisions#/ . Collisions is sure to raise awareness about the lives of children torn apart by detained or deported immigrant parents.
According to an extensive research report by the nonprofit Urban Institute and Migration Policy Institute, “Health and Social Service Needs of US-Citizen Children with Detained or Deported Immigrant Parents,” children with detained and deported parents are deeply affected. Children’s mental and physical health along with their performance at school decline resulting from economic hardship and lack of stability and care.
It is important to bring about awareness of social issues that affect children every day and elicit positive response from our community. Dr. Levien continues to make it possible through his films.
By: Varsha Vaidyanath
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