I am 11 web

KENTLAND — Do you remember what the world was like when you were 11 years old? What were some of the highlights of that time of your life?

Eleven is considered to be an extremely transitional period for youth as they hover between childhood and teen years.

Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey traveled the world for six years talking with 11-year-olds to compose an insightful, funny and moving documentary portrait of childhood. From an orphanage in India to a single-parent household in inner-city Melbourne to bathing with elephants in Thailand, I AM ELEVEN explores the lives and thoughts of children from 15 countries.

Thanks to funding from John and Kathy Cassidy and a 4-Star Initiative Grant, South Newton Elementary will be hosting a special I AM ELEVEN event Friday, February 21 for 5th-grade students and their families.

The event is being coordinated by the 5th Grade Leadership Team and Counselor Laura Zak.

“This is an experience for our students to learn about how other 11-year-olds feel about the same things they are going through,” said Zak.

The interviews in the documentary touch on some sensitive topics such as war, love, world hunger, global warming, bullying, and what it’s like to be an 11-year-old in the world today.

After the documentary, which will begin showing at 6 p.m. in the South Newton High School Auditorium, there will be refreshments and some special activities that will be led by the 5th Grade Leadership Team.

“There will also be some photo ops afterward,” added Zak.

There is no cost to attend the event for the school’s 5th graders and their families.

The funding for the event will also be used to create opportunities for the 5th-grade classrooms to connect with other classrooms, which have watched the documentary, all across the world. The program also features a pen pal program and other classroom lessons.

The South Newton 5th graders will also get to Skype with the film director Genevieve Bailey at a later date.

5th Grade Leadership Team members include Briley Iseminger, Sophie DiRuzza, Kendall Anderson, Madison Conrad, Arianna Bohlinger, Lindsay Lowe, Annabelle Brisco, Lily Cripe, Misty Dillon, and Lizzie Corbett.

For more information about the event, contact Zak at 219-474-5167 ext. 3345 or at zakl@newton.k12.in.us.