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We’ve heard the stories and seen the statistics about inner-schools and students. Low test scores, low graduation rate, high crime rate, and so on. There has been many ideas suggested and many solutions proposed to addressed these issues. In my opinion the issue has been analyzed to the point of analysis paralysis.
What if the answer is hidden in plain sight? What if the answer is to present positive opportunities to our youth? What if the answer is to provide programs that will allow them to strive and thrive? What if we help them build a positive self-esteem.
Brooklyn Castle is an inspiring and heartwarming film that clearly depicts what can happen when we show our youth that we care.
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“Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs facing members of a junior high school’s champion chess team
BROOKLYN CASTLE is a documentary about I.S. 318 an inner-city school where more than 65 percent of students are from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level that also happens to have the most winning junior high school chess team in the nation. The school has cultivated many of the nation's highest ranked players; if Albert Einstein, who was rated 1800, were to join the team he’d only rank fifth. Chess has helped transform the school from one cited in 2003 as a “school in need of improvement” to one of New York City’s highest achieving middle schools. But a series of recession-driven public school budget cuts now threaten to undermine those hard-won successes.”
As part of their commitment to community service and cultural enrichment, Malik Fraternity, Inc. in collaboration with Malik Melodies Sisterhood, Inc. initiated a program that has given schools and community centers the opportunity for a “sneak peek” screening of the film in advance of its general release. One of their representatives stated “We endeavor to provide opportunities for our children to see themselves as positive, productive, and successful.”
I commend these two organizations for their efforts.
Additional information about Brooklyn Castle can be found at http://www.brooklyncastle.com/
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.