About this project
Dan Habib’s new film project Who Cares About Kelsey? includes a 75-minute feature length documentary film, plus mini-films and extras, that documents the lives of students with emotional/behavioral challenges. The project vividly captures innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed - while improving the overall school culture and climate. Habib is creator of the internationally acclaimed documentary, Including Samuel.
The film is a project of the Institute on Disability’s National Center for Inclusive Education program. The project’s Kickstarter fiscal sponsor is ABLE NH (Advocates Building Lasting Equality in New Hampshire.) ABLE NH is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that advocates for the civil and human rights of all children and adults with disabilities and promotes full participation by improving systems of supports, connecting families, inspiring communities, and influencing public policy. To learn more about ABLE NH, please visit www.ablenh.org.
Thanks to ABLE NH’s fiscal sponsorship of this project ALL donations are tax-deductible.
NOTE: Open captioned videos are available on our WCA Kelsey Youtube channel.
Kelsey Carroll has one goal - to graduate from high school - and plenty of reasons why she shouldn’t. She has dealt with homelessness, self-mutilation, and ADHD and attends a school that had one of the highest dropout rates in New Hampshire. Who Cares About Kelsey? is the story of Kelsey’s transformation from a defiant and disruptive “problem student” to a motivated and self-confident young woman.
Who Cares About Kelsey? will make viewers reconsider the "problem kids" in their own high schools and spark new conversations about an education revolution that's about empowering – not overpowering – youth with emotional/behavioral disabilities.
In addition to the full-length documentary film, we are working to finish nine mini-films (10-15 minutes each) that will illustrate a wide range of educational evidence-based practices including Universal Design for Learning, Bullying Prevention, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and more.
Watch two of the mini-films, "Thasya" and "Tariq", below:
- Thasya Lumingkewas, a 9-year-old girl originally from Indonesia, has autism and uses an augmentative communication device. Thasya thrives at Maple Wood Elementary School in Somersworth, NH where she is fully included in general education classes.
- Tariq Zuhbuza discusses the life events and circumstances that led him into the juvenile justice system, and what type of interventions might have put him on a different path.
Additional mini-films in the project include:
- Interviews with five other incarcerated youth.
- Marcel, an elementary school student in Alton, Illinois, struggles with mental health challenges that have led to fits of violence. This film looks at a Missouri elementary school's struggle to include Marcel in general education classes. The film also highlights the district's efforts to address racial disparities regarding how African American boys are disciplined and educated.
- A closer look at the transformation of Somersworth High School in New Hampshire, the site of Who Cares About Kelsey?, through school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. The film highlights student leadership and data-driven decision making.
These films feature the voices of students, family members, peers and educators, and will examine key questions such as: What types of supports and interventions enable children with emotional/behavioral challenges to succeed? What type of training and support do teachers, staff, volunteers and administrators need so that they feel equipped to include students with complex emotional/behavioral challenges? How are behavioral problems linked to communication and learning disabilities?
We are also developing educational material (both printed and online) and a national outreach/engagement campaign that will ensure that this project will be a powerful professional development tool and catalyst for public awareness and social change.
Your generous donations will support
- Post-production for the mini-films, including closed captioning.
-The Who Cares About Kelsey? national outreach and engagement campaign to support and include students with emotional and behavioral disabilities in school and community.
- Expansion of educational content on the new Who Cares About Kelsey? website.
- Free dissemination of Who Cares About Kelsey? Education Kits to schools and non-profits in low-income communities around the country.
- Kelsey's participation in screenings of the film across the country.
About the filmmaker’s previous film and the rewards
About Including Samuel
Dan Habib's award-winning documentary film Including Samuel examines the educational and social inclusion of youth with disabilities. The film is built on the Habib family's efforts to include Samuel, 12, in all facets of their lives, a journey that transforms each of them. Including Samuel also features four other families with varied inclusion experiences, plus interviews with teachers, parents, students, and disability rights experts. The film has been screened at universities, national conferences, public television stations and independent theatres across the country.
Please visit www.includingsamuel.com for more information about the film and its international impact.
Including Samuel Notecards
Photo of Samuel and his brother Isaiah blowing bubbles, from the film Including Samuel
Signed Bill Clinton Photograph by Dan Habib
Many fans of Dan Habib’s photojournalism work have expressed interest in his well-known photograph of Bill Clinton running for President in 1992. We are now offering it as a reward for supporting the Who Cares About Kelsey? Project.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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