A video produced by Eisenhower Elementary School students has been selected as a winner in the 2013 EducationPlus Show-Me a Movie Awards.
“Heroes at Home: Our School Community” focuses on the challenges that many USD 207 students face with having parents deployed abroad for long periods of time due to their military service. With personal interviews, family photos, and footage of children reuniting with parents, the short video tells the emotional story of this aspect of life through the eyes of a military child.
The contest sponsor, EducationPlus, a non-profit educational service agency based in Saint Louis, Missouri, selected “Heroes at Home” as the winning entrant in the Show-Me Your Community elementary school category for digital storytelling. As the “Show-Me” nickname suggests, entrants usually come from the state of Missouri, especially the St. Louis area. This award marks the first time in contest history that an out-of-state school has placed first in any category.
Over 150 entries were submitted, across all categories, in the 2013 Show-Me a Movie Awards. Award winner names were announced on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. The winning movies were showcased on the EducationPlus SchoolTube channel and were honored at a reception at the 31st annual Midwest Education Technology Conference, February 10-12, 2014 in Saint Louis.
“My dad’s been deployed five times”
“I felt sad because I thought he was going to get hurt”
“Well, it’s kind of bittersweet because I know that he’s gone for a good cause, but it’s still kind of sad because he’s gone.”
Eisenhower Elementary School Counselor, Debbie Sack, and Instructional Technology Coordinator, Matt Dixon, worked with Eisenhower students during 2013 to develop the video.
After receiving the news that their video had won, Sack and Dixon participated in an interview.
How did this project get started?
Sack: Liddell Hobin, our Director of Technology, approached Matt Dixon about the possibility of the Ike Informers participating in this technology contest. Then Matt and I asked the Ike Informers, our student news team if they would like to be involved. All of them were extremely excited about the project. Two of the Ike Informers, Kate Bircher and Sophia Troutman, decided that deployed family members was the topic they wanted to focus on in the project. The team was presented with the idea and wholeheartedly agreed. They asked me if I would choose some students I work with in our Hearts Apart group to be interviewed. I set up the interviews and Mr. Dixon worked with the Ike Informers about the technical aspects of the project. I was very proud of the work the kids did, and how they followed through on each component of each task. I am also impressed with all that Mr. Dixon taught the Ike Informers about technology in order to make the project a success!
What was it like working with the children on the topic of deployment?
Sack: It was an emotional experience. I work closely with the children in my school who have deployed parents, so much of what was said I am familiar with. However, it brought to light, to me personally, how important it is for teachers to be cognizant of what these kids and their families go through during times of deployment. I observed a great deal of sadness, and at the same time, pride that their parent was doing such an important job for America.
How did the students react when they found out they had won?
Dixon: Well, The kids were very excited when they found out we had won. Getting recognized for their work has motivated them even more. We’re very proud of them!