Last Friday, the East End Community School’s Walking School Bus Program teamed up with the Portland Children’s Film Festival for a showing of one of their films, On the Way to School – which tracks four groups of children in far-flung locations as they each set off on impossibly long, arduous and sometimes life threatening journeys to attend class in distant schoolhouses.
The Walking School Bus (WSB) students were responsible for introducing On the Way to School and started by sharing a short volunteer-created film of their own on-the-way-to school experience via the Walking School Bus. What a great piece that really captures the program!
To get to the event, volunteers walked with the WSB students from school to the library downtown. In addition to introducing the films, WSB students thanked program funders (Maine Center for Disease Control, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Maine Department of Transportation) and others (volunteers who share the walk with the students each day, the filmmaker (Terrence Wolfe) etc.) publicly. A number of volunteer Walk Leaders were in the audience and the WSB students had them stand for applause, then invited participating students and Terry the filmmaker to stand as well.
The Portland Children’s Film Festival also showed the Walking School Bus video at the Young Filmmaker’s Contest Red Carpet event on Thursday night and then at the Nickelodeon Cinema on Sunday – even though it wasn’t an official entry because it was not specifically student-led/driven. So it was a wonderful surprise to see it up on the big screens as well!