Watch I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School
I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School is a 1993 documentary film directed by Susan Raymond, which follows the lives of several young students who attend Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia. As the film progresses, viewers are offered an intimate glimpse into the day-to-day struggles and accomplishments of these children, who are predominantly African American and come from low-income households.
The documentary's central theme is education, and viewers are presented with a powerful and unflinching portrayal of the challenges that many impoverished children face in their attempts to get a quality education. The film highlights the various obstacles to learning that these students must overcome, including overcrowded classrooms, aging textbooks, and dilapidated school buildings. However, despite these challenges, the children of Stanton Elementary School are determined to succeed, and the film showcases their displays of resilience, courage, and hope.
Throughout the film, viewers are introduced to several key figures, including Deanna Burney, a fourth-grade teacher who has been at the school for over a decade. Burney is a dedicated and passionate educator who goes above and beyond for her students, often filling in the gaps that the education system leaves behind. We also meet Principal Clary Jansson, who is committed to creating a safe and supportive learning environment for the students. Jansson is a thoughtful and compassionate leader who understands the importance of setting high expectations for the children and providing them with the resources they need to succeed.
The film focuses on several individual students and their stories, highlighting their unique backgrounds and struggles. One of the most memorable students is Rhasheed, a young boy who has already faced significant hardships in his life. Despite the odds, Rhasheed is an intelligent and determined student who dreams of becoming a doctor. However, he faces numerous obstacles along the way, including disruptive classmates and a lack of resources. Another standout student is Arnetta, a shy but talented writer who struggles with her self-confidence. The film charts Arnetta's progress as she gains confidence in her abilities and learns to speak up for herself.
Ultimately, I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School is a moving testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Through the stories of these remarkable children, viewers are reminded of the transformative power of education and the vital importance of investing in our nation's youth. The film powerfully captures the hopes, dreams, and struggles of an oft-forgotten segment of American society, and serves as a reminder that no matter the obstacles, with hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of luck, anything is possible.
In summary, I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School is a heartwarming and inspiring documentary that offers an insightful and candid look into the lives of some of America's most vulnerable children. Through the film's compelling stories and unforgettable characters, viewers are offered a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of the education system and are left with a profound sense of hope for a brighter future.