Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

“Race to Nowhere” Screening June 8

Posted on: May 24, 2011

The award-winning documentary “Race to Nowhere” will be shown at 7pm on Wednesday, June 8 in the auditorium at Northampton High School,380 Elm Street in Northampton.

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Sponsored by the NHS PTO, the 85-minute film will be followed by a 30-minute discussion facilitated by Smith College Professors Susan Etheredge and Patty DiBartolo from the Education and Psychology Departments respectively.

Personal experience inspired first-time filmmaker Vicki Abeles to make “Race to Nowhere.” A parent of three children and former Wall Street attorney, Abeles awakened to the crisis in a hospital emergency room as her 12-year-old daughter was being treated for stress-related illness. Abeles realized that the pressures students face today can be overwhelming, in every kind of school environment and community.

According to the film’s website, “’Race to Nowhere’ points to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace; students are disengaged; stress-related illness and depression are rampant; and many young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.“

“How do our schools fit into this picture?” asked Dr. Sharon Saline, clinical psychologist and educational consultant, and also parent of an NHS sophomore, who spearheaded the Northampton screening of the film. “Parents should see this film no matter how old their kids are. We hope that many, many parents, educators, and students join us on June 8 to view the film and consider its implications for our community. Students are especially encouraged to attend and share their perspective during the discussion.”

The film has been described as a “must-see movie” by the New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle called it “a lifeline to stressed-out teens.” A preview may be viewed at www.racetonowhere.com.

Advance tickets may be purchased for $10 online at www.racetonowhere.com/screenings/northampton-high-school. A small processing fee applies. Tickets will be sold at the door for $15. Half of all ticket sales benefit NHS PTO. Families with students who receive free or reduced lunch may pick up tickets at the NHS front office. Special thanks to Global Routes and Cotton Tree Service for underwriting the cost of providing these tickets to help families on a limited income attend this important film.

“Race to Nowhere” is being called a national grassroots phenomenon. According to its distributor, Reel Link Films, in the past six months almost 600,000 people have attended more than 2,000 screenings in 48 states and 17 countries. For more information about the Northampton event, please visit the NHS PTO website (http://www.hamphigh.org/pto/pto) or contact Sharon Saline, 413-586-6900.

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