On June 13, 2014, THE CALL was shown to a group of 5th and 6th graders in River Forest, IL. Screening and discussion were led by Susan Lucci, a facilitator of women’s and girls’ groups. Here are her comments:
“It was a hit! All of their faces were glued to the screen the entire time. They absolutely got the message: do not smoke. Up to this point, the ‘Just Say NO’ message has been conveyed to them via statistics. They preferred this story format. They clearly identified with Becky.
“Immediately after watching, I invited them to do a free write exercise (“First Thoughts”). After that, interestingly, they scrolled through the clipboard of handouts to the stats sheet and then automatically signed the anti-smoking contract. We talked through the stats and different pieces of the movie (guided in part by the Teachers’ Guide). Given the high number of adults they see smoking, they reported even higher stats about smokers, except among their peers, where they think only 1 or 2 students at their school smoke.
“Since this group loves music, I asked about the significance of the music midway through, which of course they got. I also probed about the relationship between the siblings and pulled out some of the lines to see their reaction (“Everyone dies, kid” and “That’s stupid!”). I wondered if they caught the subtleties. They did.
“Then we walked through the role playing and the girls’ answers in nearly every situation was very clear: NO! I reminded them about the vulnerability of their brains at this age and encouraged them to hold onto that position as they grow older and peer pressure increases.
“I framed this subject in the context of HABITS. When do habits turn into addictions, I wondered? We had a fascinating discussion.
“When considering how great a percentage of smokers are in lower income, they raised a tough question – how can these folks be educated/supported to quit without education and support systems?
“Also, the girls wondered how they can convince their parents’ friends to stop smoking. They are trying tactics I remembered doing at their age – flushing cigarettes and citing stats.
“Finally, they expressed that they would love to have their peers be shown this movie.
“Thank you for letting me experience this program with them!”
Some comments from the girls:
“It was easy to relate to and made me feel sad, how smoking tears people apart.”
“I realized that it affects not only you but the people you love.”
“Watching the movie made me feel more confident in not smoking.”
“I feel more informed now!”
Susan Lucci, Circle Facilitator, www.2big4words.org