Launch Flagstaff

Launch Flagstaff, a new organization focused on promoting a strong educational system in Flagstaff, is hosting several community events over the next several weeks. Launch Flagstaff is a community-wide initiative to provide all children and youth, regardless of background or socio-economic status, with a “cradle-to-career” world-class education.

The public is invited to free documentary films about education. The films will be screened at the McGee Auditorium at Flagstaff Medical Center starting at 6:30 p.m. each night. Following each film, a panel of local experts will speak to the issues in the film and their impact on students in Flagstaff. Seating is limited and attendees must obtain a free ticket through at launchflagstaff.org/event.

This week's film, set for Friday, Sept. 15, is "Paper Tigers." "Paper Tigers" follows a year in the life of an alternative high school that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students, becoming a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families.

Then on Wednesday, Sept. 20, "Rise Above the Mark" will be screened. "Rise Above the Mark" is a documentary that explores what happens when politics enters the classroom. Experts discuss how America can make positive changes to provide an exceptional public school system for all children.

On Sept. 19, there will be a Launch 101 meeting where constituent groups and individuals can discuss working together to improve the educational outcomes for all Flagstaff children. Launch 101 will be held at the offices of the United Way of Northern Arizona, 1515 E. Cedar Ave., suite D-1.

The film "American Teacher" will be screened Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater. "American Teacher" uses a large collection of teacher testimonies and contrasts the demands of the teaching profession alongside interviews with education experts and education reform news from around the country. There are four principal characters in the film whose lives and careers are closely portrayed over the course of several years. Alongside the stories of these four characters is interwoven a mixture of interviews with teachers, students, families, and education leaders. Ticket sales will benefit Launch Flagstaff.

Launch Flagstaff has also partnered with the Arizona Town Hall organization to convene a Flagstaff community town hall on funding preK-12 education. This half-day event will bring together community leaders, policy makers, educators, students and other community members to identify new methods of funding our education system in Flagstaff and statewide. The town hall will be Sunday, Oct. 1, from 1-6:30 p.m., at Coconino Community College Lone Tree Campus Commons. Registration is $25 which includes a post-event dinner. There are limited scholarships available for students and teachers. Registration information is at launchflagstaff.org.

On Oct. 17 and 19, the Coconino Coalition for Children and Youth is hosting a free day-long training for Coconino County agencies that work with or interact with children and families as well as foster parents and community members interested in child abuse prevention and and strengthening families. The speaker, Kevin Campbell, is an internationally known youth permanency expert, founder of the Center for Family Finding and Youth Connectedness and developer of the Family Finding model, a set of strategies now utilized throughout the United States and Canada to establish lifelong supports for youth in foster care.

For more information, visit launchflagstaff.org.

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