01/13/2004

Teaching Tolerance film impacts students

Jan. 13, 2004 -- With award-winning education kits and a highly acclaimed magazine, Teaching Tolerance continues to make great strides in promoting understanding and acceptance in classrooms across the country.

The Center's education video, Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks, will receive nationwide exposure beginning in February when the cable network Home Box Office (HBO) will begin airing the Oscar-nominated film during primetime hours on February 8.

Mighty Times recounts the amazing story of how one woman's refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man stirred an entire community to unite against segregation. Rosa Parks' quiet courage was the catalyst for the yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the subsequent birth of the Civil Rights Movement.

Through the video, schoolchildren have learned the valuable lesson that one person can make a difference in bringing about positive change in their communities.

Teachers praise this inspirational film, which, since its creation in October 2002, has been sent to more than 25,000 schools.

"Our emotions were stirred to the point of anger and tears," one California teacher said. "My students were able to feel the injustice and enduring prejudice ... It became real, as much as possible, to them. They want to build character to emulate people like Mrs. Parks, Dr. King, and countless others who tried, who helped, who hoped."

A Kentucky teacher wrote: "The kids have learned much more about one of our beloved American heroes. The study about Rosa Parks has ignited their interest and has helped me recall why I love teaching. I love making a difference in the lives of children and I'm proud to help them learn about how a sweet, quiet woman many years ago made a difference for a nation!"

The generosity of Center donors has enabled Teaching Tolerance to not only produce five high-quality video education kits for students of all ages, but also distribute these kits to thousands of schools free of charge.