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Zaner-Bloser Brings Exclusive Movie Screening to Columbus Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of a Major Civil Rights Event

COLUMBUS, OHIO (September 13, 2013) Zaner-Bloser, a national education publisher, will sponsor an exclusive advance screening of The Watsons Go to Birmingham in Columbus, Ohio on September 18 at the King Arts Complex-Pythian Theater located at 867 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus.

Produced by Walden Media, the Hallmark Channel Original Movie is based on the award-winning novel about a family’s road trip to Birmingham in the summer of 1963 and the civil rights events they witnessed that forever changed our nation. The movie will make several stops across the country before nationally premiering September 20th on the Hallmark Channel.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the movie screening beginning at 6:30 p.m. A 30-minute community panel discussion will immediately follow the movie and will include the following panelists:

  • Dr. Cynthia Tyson, Professor at The Ohio State University where she teaches Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education, Early Childhood Social Studies and Multicultural Children’s Literature. Dr. Tyson will share her expertise on the importance of culturally responsive teaching that allows students to develop a sense of self, perspective-taking and social awareness.
  • Dr. Randy Testa, Vice President of Education for Walden Media. Dr. Testa will discuss how literature and movies in the classroom can engage students in dialogue about some of the difficult historical and current topics while helping    them develop the critical thinking skills necessary for 21st century learning.

Zaner-Bloser wrote and designed for students in grades 4-12, an Educator’s Resource guide that offers lesson plans for teachers and parents based on the novel and movie. The guide is based on the Zaner-Bloser Voices Curriculum and was written in collaboration with Professor Robert Selman of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“Zaner-Bloser is proud to provide fresh context to help teachers and their students understand and appreciate the significance of the events in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. We need to keep discussions open regarding our civil rights history,” said Bob Page, president of Zaner-Bloser.

In 2012, Zaner-Bloser officially launched a new learning program designed to support positive school climate initiatives while enriching literacy instruction and student achievement through the power of teacher read-alouds. Designed for grades K–6, Voices Literature & Writing offers all students access to the content of appealing, relevant, and culturally responsive teacher read-aloud literature from award-winning authors and illustrators. The program’s framework also supports the goals of the Common Core State Standards.

Space is limited for the Columbus event so anyone who is interested in attending should email their name and any guest names to:

The Watsons Go to Birmingham premieres Sept. 20 at 8PM/ET on the Hallmark Channel. The film will be part of Hallmark Channel’s exciting new Friday night franchise, “Walden Family Theater,” presented in collaboration with Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and award-winning family entertainment producer Walden Media and ARC Entertainment.

About Zaner-Bloser

Zaner-Bloser, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlights for Children with more than 120 years of experience in education, is one of the premier publishers of research-based reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, and handwriting programs. The Zaner-Bloser mission is to create dynamic, appealing, and effective educational programs and services. Zaner-Bloser focuses on distinctive programs that inspire all students to become engaged, literate participants in the global society.

For media inquiries, contact Celina Fabrizio at and 614-224-8114, or Tia Piacquadio at and 614-487-2630.

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