Street President Speaks on HBO Series
the new HBO reality series Kindergarten, filmmakers Kirk
Simon and Karen Goodman let their camera tell the story of an
Upper Nyack kindergarten class of five and six year olds over
the course of a full school year.
we did here is the first cinema verite-style reality series ever
made about kids – and for kids,” said Goodman, during a screening
of one of the episodes that took place recently at the Museum
of Television and Radio in NYC.
The screening, which attracted an audience of approximately 100,
was followed by a panel discussion featuring Bank Street College
President Augusta Souza Kappner.
at this age really do observe things that go on around them and
have their opinions and feelings about those things,” said Kappner.
“The depth of the conversations among the children on this show
should not be a surprise to us.”
The reality element characterizing the series becomes evident
through the conversations held by the children. For example, the
episode included a scene where a blond little girl assures her
friends during snack time that she “believes in God.” She proclaimed,
“Really! My sister has a friend who says she doesn’t believe in
God. Can you believe that? But I do.”
In another scene, a little girl with a strong personality, makes
an elaborate plan to get her friend Tyree, who is “awfully shy
and never says anything,” to talk. A few minutes after she celebrates
her success, she gets her heart broken when two other girls exclude
her from their play.
concept of kindergarten has changed quite a bit in recent years,”
said Kappner. “Historically, we used to think of it as not much
more than a place where kids of a certain young age go and play.
But that’s not true any longer. Due to the diversity of kids and
the standardized requirements in schools, kindergarten has really
become a place where you get prepared for elementary school life.”
attempts to gives viewers a picture of the life of 23 bright
kids. “This show is a gem that kids and adults should both enjoy
and learn from,” said Kappner. “I’m anxious to see the rest of
the episodes. This series could possibly become a wonderful teaching
tool at Bank Street.”
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