We are pleased to present as a guest blog the perspective the audience at the 14th Street Y heard when August To June was presented there recently!
My name is Julia Massey, I am the Assistant Director of the 14th Street Y Parenting, Family, and Early Childhood Center. I went to a screening of August to June last year, when it was presented at my son’s elementary school and one of the teachers in our Preschool here, also saw the film recently, and we were both inspired by the message that comes across in the film, so much so that we felt it would be appropriate to share it with the Y community.
August to June highlights the beautiful moments that are experienced in a child’s life at school, when the classroom is set up in a way where the child feels safe and supported and respected, and allowed the time and space to explore topics in depth, to ask questions, to share opinions, to investigate through trial and error, to express themselves through art and music, and to build the confidence in themselves in order to become life-long learners.
Some of us have children who are of elementary school age and have just gone through the stress of the past two weeks of State Testing, which just ended last Friday. Some of us have children in Preschool who, earlier in the year took gifted and talented tests, and you are trying to figure out what it all means for their future. Whatever your child’s age, it’s easy to get caught up in the competitive nature of standardized testing, quality reviews, etc. This is a good time to see a film like this – to have the opportunity to take a step back – and have a reminder of what is most meaningful in education. Amy Valens has presented a window into her classroom, with scenes that prompt us to ask ourselves what do we value most, in the qualities of our schools, our educators, and what lessons and values do we ultimately want our children to take away with them as they grow into adulthood. This film might help you decide what type of school you want for your child in the future, it might give you ideas of how you can support your child at home, or how to get involved in the PTA or School Leadership Teams. At the very least, it’s a great way to feel like a fly on the wall in Amy’s classroom, and just imagine our own children in there with her, and how they might blossom in that classroom setting.