Showcasing Talent in America's Classrooms: RisingStar31's Academy Award Contests for Teachers

Top Quote Now, teachers can win recognition 'Hollywood style,' with the RisingStar31 Academy Award Contests. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 02, 2012 - This October, RisingStar31 Productions launches its first Academy Award Contests for Teachers, beginning a season of video-based competitions that offer winners a $1,000 prize and recognition in the Academy Awards episode of their new web program, The Teachers' Show.

    The company is promoting literacy by showcasing the work of innovative teachers. One of the main goals is to use entertainment and technology to make learning a more engaging and dynamic experience for students across the country.

    Pamela Sherrod, founder of the company, is a writer and video producer who initially wanted to deliver messages to youth about the importance of having strong values.

    She teamed up with Altovise Davis after learning that she, too, wanted to have an impact on children's lives. Altovise's husband, the late Rat Pack star, Sammy Davis, Jr., began performing when he was only four. Having never attended school, he couldn't read or write until he was an adult and had always regretted it. Before his death, Sammy urged his wife to reach out to kids and stress the importance of getting an education. Armed with these incentives, the two women began a mission to write inspirational stories for children's books and films.

    Their first project was "A Detour to Mexico," a screenplay that was created to encourage students to explore other cultures and languages and to build strong values, character and perseverance.

    Perseverance, however, would actually be required to move forward, as the road ahead of the writers was filled with their own 'detours.' "There were several painful setbacks," says Sherrod, including the tragic loss of her two partners. Altovise's death in 2009 occurred only a few months after they established their production company. Then, Sherrod's fiancÚ died thirty-five days later, bringing all of their projects to an abrupt halt.

    This season, however, Sherrod moves forward with their work, realizing that she can't actually encourage perseverance in others without offering an example of it, herself.

    She says, "There's a great deal of work to be done, when comes to motivating kids. To offset all the negative images that are out there, we've got to create uplifting messages and the type of hands-on projects that empower children."

    The three Academy Awards will be presented to the teachers who help their students produce the best videos that bring the arts and sciences to life on 'the silver screen.'
    One category offers a prize for the best dramatic scene based on a classic or award winning contemporary book. Another prize will be awarded for best documentary based on an historic place or person, or the research and organization required for a science project.

    The third award is given for the best production of a musical scene based on A Detour to Mexico, the screenplay written by the two writers. "It's a wonderful musical," says Sherrod. "And it revolves about a talented family's adventures in Mexico. Nearly everyone falls in love with its characters."

    Sherrod says, "With regard to, both, teachers and students, there are many undiscovered stars in America's classrooms. Their gifts are just waiting to be discovered. So, I expect it to be a very exciting season."

    They look forward to partnering with leaders in the entertainment, sports and business communities in a similar manner in which they formed their Poetry In Motion Contest. It's an annual literary competition which was established last year with actor, Geoffrey Owens, from The Cosby Show. This year, the contest is opened to high school students who are nominated by their teachers.

    To acquire more information about the RisingStar31 Academy Award Contests for Teachers, as well as other programs, contact their website at: www.risingstar31.com

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