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Class of ’27 documentary features Owsley County, with introduction by Ky. author Silas House


Class of ’27 documentary features Owsley County, with introduction by Ky. author Silas House

For Release: 08/22/16 11:56 AM

Class of ’27: America Reframed features three stories from rural American communities showcasing how teachers and local leaders are joining forces to guide children toward the goal of high school graduation, as the Class of ’27. The program spotlights how leaders in Owsley County, Ky., as well as in tribal lands in Minnesota and within a West Coast migrant camp, are pulling together to support their children’s educational potential.

Class of ’27: America Reframed airs Monday, Sept. 19 at 9/8 pm on KET.

In the first segment, Class of ’27 follows a class of preschoolers at Owsley County Elementary School in Booneville, Ky., where their devoted teacher Betsy Coomer draws on decades of experience to help prepare them for Kindergarten and the years of schooling ahead. Tim Bobrowski, superintendent of Owsley County Schools, discusses the challenges facing his students – nearly half of whom are being raised by grandparents due, in part, to the county’s drug abuse crisis. Cleda Turner, director of Owsley County Outreach, details her agency’s work to provide food to children over the weekend, so that they can come to school on Mondays ready to learn.

Interviews with several additional Owsley County residents, including Rosa Noble, who is raising her grandchildren, and Victoria Thomas, a recovering addict, merge to tell the story of a community that, despite its struggles, has set its sights on supporting a bright future for its children.

Author Silas House, a native of Eastern Kentucky and NEH Chair of Appalachian Literature at Berea College, appears in the introduction of Class of ’27. “I grew up in a place very much like Owsley County, only a couple of counties away,” he says in the film. “It was economically distressed [and] looked down upon by most Americans and by the media. But, it was also a place that had really dedicated educators, people in the community who were devoted to making a difference, especially in the lives of children. Those people had a tremendous impact on me, on my life and on my education – the same way that the people who show up in Owsley County in the Class of ’27 are certainly going to have a terrific impact on the lives of these children.”

Class of ’27: America Reframed premieres Monday, Sept. 19 at 9/8 pm on KET. The program is a co-production of Lost Nation Pictures, and Independent Television Service, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Todd Piccirilli
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications