My Own Four Walls 2008 is a DVD collection of short documentaries depicting homelessness as experienced by children and teens in non-urban areas of the country. It was filmed and produced by HEAR US Inc., a national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving voice and visibility to homeless children, youth and families.
These young homelessness experts share their challenges and their dreams, common to over 1.5 million children and youth in this country who typically remain invisible, struggling to get into and succeed in school.
The My Own Four Walls 2008 DVD contains several short pieces:
§ “My Own Four Walls (the stories),” a 20-minute compilation of elementary, middle and high school students sharing their observations on homelessness.
§ Elementary, middle and high school segments (8-10 minutes each) of students talking about homelessness and education. Included in these segments are references to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act.
§ “Life Filled with Benches,” a short (13 min) inspiring glimpse of 2 teens on the streets of Harrisburg, PA.
§ NEW! “Beneath the Surface,” a 23-minute documentary exploring the life of a homeless teen in a suburban community. (This new selection was filmed and produced by Phil Ridgway, Chris Kelly and Susan Carlson, documentary students at Northern Illinois University.)
§ NEW! Also included are links to 2 specially-created guides (PDF) to help viewers learn more about homelessness.
MOFW, Benches, and Beneath the Surface are suitable for a variety of audiences, including student bodies, educators, administrators, non-certified personnel who come into contact with homeless students, and the general public. All who view it will walk away with a deeper sense of how homelessness affects the invisible homeless population in communities nationwide.
Price and purchase information may be found at the HEAR US website.
MOFW received the 2007 Outstanding Media Award from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (http://www.naehcy.org/conf/awards.html#nila).
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