The Global Search for Education: Marie Leiner Reflects on How Schools Can Tackle Another Pandemic-Like Moment
This month, audiences can screen Back to School During the Pandemic from Director and Science Researcher, Marie Leiner, on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.
Back to School During the Pandemic gives parents and educators an accessible resource to explain the pandemic in simple terms to youth. The short animated video describes ways to stay healthy and well, such as frequent hand washing and the use of face masks in a fun and factual way. There is also a segment that teaches kids how to breathe to relieve their stress.
The story is told without any dialogue although the message is clear — there are germs out there but we can tackle them together with the help of good science.
The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Marie Leiner.
Marie, what inspired you to create Back to School During the Pandemic. How would you describe your main goal?
We never imagined that we would be faced with a pandemic, and while it has been complicated for us in every way imaginable, for a child, the isolation and absence of activities in the school environment is something that is likely to have future repercussions.
The environment and socialization process that occurs in school life is an essential element in a child’s development. Therefore, in this video it was imperative to show them that these conditions can happen again, but also that we have ways to protect ourselves and that the lessons learned are useful and valuable. My goal is to show the children that everything has a solution and that ADULTS are prepared to act if necessary to protect them. Those upcoming situations that may or may not occur in the future are simply a part of life itself.
Do you have young children of your own? If so, did they help you in developing your creative process for this important topic?
I no longer have young children but thanks to the comments of my colleagues, pediatricians, teachers, and therapists, I became aware of the children’s concerns. I thought there was a need for children to understand the current and future aspects involved.
You chose to use no narration in your film — can you explain why you made this creative decision?
I thought that by not using the narration that is usually employed in my films, I could portray a situation in such a way that everyone, even the youngest, could understand everything that was happening or could happen.
Who do you hope will watch this film and what do you hope will be the main takeaways?
My general audience is children and their parents, as well as teachers and therapists. I think the message of what can happen and how everything seems to be perfectly controlled and where everyone — teachers, children, school staff — knows what to do if there is another pandemic-like moment is the message I want to convey.
C.M. Rubin and Marie Leiner
Don’t Miss Back to School During the Pandemic, from Director and Science Researcher Marie Leiner, now screening on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.