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Article Title

Raising the Point

Abstract

Raising the Point, is an educational documentary which supports the South Bronx’s Hunts Point community’s efforts in improving the social, educational, environmental, and health injustices it encounters. Though the Hunts Point community faces many inequities, the film focuses on the issue of poor air quality. What does an educational film have to do with South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy? Educational discourse typically focuses its critique on educational improvements inside of the classroom. However, there are critical factors that affect a student’s educational experience before they even walk through the school’s door. For example, P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake School, which is located in Hunts Point, serves a little over 1000 K-5 students. A quick search on P.S. 48.’s grade level assessment data reveals that P.S. 48 is above average in certain grade levels and below average in others. Assumptions can made on the cause of the below average grade level assessments. Could it be a lack of resources or qualified teachers? Perhaps, but if you were to ask the P.S. 48 Principal, she would tell you that one of the biggest problems her school encounters is being located in a “desolate industrial neighborhood with high asthma rates.” Educational reform typically focuses on improvements in the classroom, but students live in real communities with real problems. Since the majority of school absenteeism is related to asthma, giving a student an enriching educational experience in a community overcome by heavy truck idling is an injustice that requires action. The intention of the film is not to provide solutions, but to stimulate dialogue that leads to sustainable change for Hunts Point. As a result, this project is merely a part of a larger grassroots effort to support Hunts Point’s mission in revitalizing the community.

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