I hope this holiday season finds you well. I’m writing to provide an update regarding John Hunter, the World Peace Game, the film World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements and our work to affect education by sharing John’s work with children and applying the lessons to be learned from his wisdom and experience. There is much good news to report.
1. Publicity regarding John and his work continues to increase. While 2010 was the year that the film first premiered and thus began the process of sharing John’s influence with the wider world, his work truly received broad international exposure in 2011. To recap, in February the film was aired on television in South Korea, in March John spoke at the prestigious TED Conference (at this point, over 350,000 people have watched his inspiring and heartfelt Talk online), in April the film was aired on television in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and in September it was broadcast throughout the Middle East on Al Hurra TV. Just a few of the other screenings and presentations included events at the Google campus in Silicon Valley, Harvard University in Boston, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and at film festivals and educational conferences in Canada, Belgium, Australia and Japan. There were many others too numerous to list here. All of this was accomplished through a grass-roots film focused on one public-school teacher, though admittedly an amazing teacher whose lessons the world does seem to be ready to receive.
Just around the holidays, John received press attention from two sources that continues this upswing regarding creating awareness of his work. First, on Christmas Day, a wonderful piece appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, a Story Corps interview with John and two of his former students. This charming interview is linked here. http://www.npr.org/2011/12/25/
144212037/peace-game-puts- weight-of-the-world-on- students The second article, posted on the Huffington Post, was a collaboration between TED and the Huffington Post which featured the best TED Talks from 2011 over the month of December. Applying TED’s mantra of “Ideas Worth Spreading”, they featured Talks that could have the greatest impact on 2012, and published in ascending order, John’s Talk was featured last, on December, 26, as the TED Talk that was the most important of 2011. Here’s the link to this article,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ 2011/12/26/world-peace-game_n_ 1169863.html?ref=tedtalks2011 I have to admit that I had always hoped that John’s work would resonate widely, and I can now safely say that this is indeed the case.
2. More good news. John and I have just signed a partnership agreement with the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence. http://www.
martininstitute.org/about/ about-the-martin-institutefor- teaching-excellence.html The Martin Institute is itself a partnership among the University of Memphis, the Presbyterian Day School and individual philanthropists for the purpose of providing world-class professional development for public and private-school teachers at heavily subsidized rates or for free. Their particular emphasis focuses on training teachers how to foster in their students the ability to think critically, connectedly and creatively in a collaborative and globally-minded manner. John has been named the first Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellow. This partnership will focus on creating instructional materials and learning opportunities in the form of Master Classes, through which John will conduct workshops whereby educators from around the world will gather to learn about and develop learner-centered teaching practices that foster global-mindedness, higher order critical thinking skills, honed communication and negotiation skills, as well as other vital 21st century skills. John and the Martin Institute will also together work towards the eventual replication of the World Peace Game exercise so that students from around the world can finally be able to participate in, and benefit from, this wonderful educational exercise. As part of this collaboration, the Martin Institute will also manage the educational distribution of the DVD as well as the future scheduling of film screenings. We expect to have the DVD ready for educational purchase by March, 2012.
John and I are both thrilled by this opportunity. I have to admit that for me personally it so rewarding to realize that after working on this project for the last six years that we have finally established the means by which the World Peace Game will be replicated and the mechanism through which John’s expertise and wisdom will be shared with fellow educators.
3. More good news regarding the film. In November, World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements was presented to public television stations from around the country via American Public Television’s annual Marketplace for their consideration of the film for broadcast in the spring of 2012. The initial response regarding the “carriage” of the film, (in other words which stations will air the program), is extremely encouraging. At this point, while it is still early in the process, we have already received a commitment from 16 of the top 20 television markets, including WNET in New York and WGBH in Boston, as well as stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and a host of others. We also have received “maybe’s” from several other stations, which we hope to convert to “yes’s” in the months ahead, and expect to receive coverage of well over 80 % of US households with this broadcast. Our truly conservative estimate is that approximately one million households, or well over one million viewers, will watch the initial broadcast, and that this number will increase significantly with repeated broadcasts of the program over the three years that the stations will have the right to re-broadcast the program. Our public television exposure will truly provide the ultimate opportunity for presenting the film to the widest possible US audience, especially for those in the educational community, which has always had an intrinsic relationship with US public television.
Presently we’re in the final stage of attempting to secure underwriting for the broadcast. Unless we can attract significant additional support, we will not be able to plan and implement an effective publicity campaign to support the national broadcast, wasting a wonderful opportunity to achieve the widest possible impact with the program’s broadcast. I am asking all of our supporters to consider directly connecting us with potential underwriters in a timely manner if you have any relationships with individuals or organizations that you think might be interested in being attached to the program. With the opportunity to achieve a significant audience with this broadcast we think that attaching support might be attractive as a marketing tool for certain parties in addition to the more philanthropic motivation of providing support for the purpose of supporting our mission of spreading John’s work far and wide. As always, one can also support us directly through a tax-deductible donation by going to our website at www.rosaliafilms.com and clicking on our Donate heading. For those of you who have already contributed, thanks again for your help.
Regardless, I do hope this finds you well and wish you a very happy 2012. Thanks as always for your past support of our work. After six years we are on the cusp of achieving broad impact and expect 2012 to be the year that the world truly becomes fully aware of John, the World Peace Game, and John’s wonderful work with children. We could not have done this without your support, and for that we’ll always be eternally grateful.