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Inspiring Documentary Films Featuring Children


Recommended by Rebecca, of the library's Adult Department.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

Mad Hot Ballroom

1365238.jpg An engrossing documentary about a wildly successful after-school program in New York City. This film follows three competing groups of 5th graders as they journey into the world of competitive dance. They learn the Swing, the Rumba, the Tango and a few things about life as well. Genuinely touching.

A Class Divided

1351997.jpg This PBS film chronicles a daring elementary school classroom experiment attempted by an innovative teacher in 1970. Jane Elliott divided her class into those with blue eyes and those with brown eyes and gave the blue-eyed children preferential treatment, all in an effort to illustrate how racial stereotyping affects young children. A film youll never forget.

The Boys of Baraka

1388942.jpg This engrossing independent film follows a group of 12 year-old boys from the tough streets of inner city Baltimore to an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya. Faced with a strict academic and disciplinary program as well as the freedom to be normal teenage boys, these brave kids begin the daunting journey towards putting their lives on a fresh path.


1317803.jpg Who knew a documentary could be as suspenseful and thrilling as any sports competition? This film follows eight kids as they prepare for the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. These are kids from big cities as well as small town America. Believe me when I say that youll be riveted, engrossed and inspired. Dont miss this gem.

Paper Clips

1377971.jpg This documentary details the 2001 Paper Clip Project and poignantly describes how the students of Whitwell Middle School in Tennessee engage in a project intended to instill a sense of diversity by teaching kids about the Holocaust. Because the paper clip was used as a symbol of solidarity against the Nazis, students began collecting six-million of them in order to visualize and grasp the concept of Holocaust victims. This inspiring film which will move you to tears, shows how even small town students and educators can teach the world powerful lessons.