My husband is a school teacher and has taught many diverse populations. There is a lot in the news about how we are failing our students, and that it is the teacher’s fault. I hate this notion. I know some people are terrible teachers, and that union make hiring and firing difficult, but not all teachers should share the blame for what the minority do.
Another major problem we have witnessed in education is families that do not support their child’s education. It is so important for parents to help with homework, attend school events, and read with their kids. However, many families are struggling just to eat, and the notion of owning books, much less reading them, is foreign and difficult. We have donated food, books, school supplies and so much more to families in trying to further education in the home. If the parents support their child’s education, that child will do so much better!
McFarland is an excellent portrayal of the challenges that families, students, teachers, and schools face in educating and inspiring children in a difficult population. Latino families notoriously struggle academically. Many are not citizens, or their parents are not, and work is not steady. It is difficult for them to survive, and all members of the family must work whether at a paying job, or in caring for siblings so that parents can work. My husband stopped sending home homework after his first few months as a brand new teacher because he learned that his students were working to help pay the bills, or engaged in childcare of younger sibling and it was impossible for them to do their homework.
I love that McFarland shows a strong male teacher as well. In a field that is predominately female, it is the male teachers that act as role models and help students to strive to higher standards. They teach their male students how to behave in other predominately male jobs, and are so important in homes where the father is absent. There are countless studies in psychology that suggest that a strong male role model, especially fathers, play a huge role in preventing teenage pregnancy, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and so much more!
I am always and have always been a fan of Disney and their movies. I love the comedies, the princesses, and the family movies. This is another classic that we will add to our library. Their up and coming Marvel films are a great source of joy as well, and we are anxiously awaiting more Disney Magic!
Disney’s “McFarland, USA” comes to theaters February 20, 2015!
Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school.
Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic.
With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
Disney’s “McFarland, USA” stars Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor, Martha Higareda, Michael Aguero, Sergio Avelar, Hector Duran, Rafael Martinez, Johnny Ortiz, Carlos Pratts, Ramiro Rodriguez, Danny Mora,Valente Rodriguez, Vanessa Martinez and Chris Ellis and is directed by Niki Caro with screenplay by Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois and Grant Thompson, and story by Cleveland & Gilois.
Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi are producing, with Mario Iscovich and Mary Martin serving as executive producers.