May 11, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393
jchavez@ped.state.nm.us

Interactive Film Program to Help Close the Achievement Gap

 

( Santa Fe , NM )— Secretary Veronica C. García is working with New Mexico’s thriving film industry to highlight local efforts to improve education in Jemez Valley Public Schools. Secretary García has authorized $19,800 in funding from the Public Education Department’s 2005 Budget for Silver Bullet Productions, Inc, a New Mexico 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Under the auspices of the Rural Education Division of the Public Education Department, Silver Bullet staff and students from Jemez Valley are filming a documentary about the efforts in Jemez Valley to work community-wide improve their educational system.

Secretary Veronica C. García remarked, “The achievement gap is particularly significant for Native American students. Finding innovative ways to honor the students’ language and culture while enhancing their core academic skills has been missing. I’m optimistic that this initiative will make a difference in closing the achievement gap.”

Silver Bullet was formed to advance educational excellence in New Mexico’s rural and tribal communities through a hands-on filmmaking program that uniquely enhances academic and economic opportunities by teaching film production skills to children. Films produced by the students will celebrate the culture, history and language of their communities.

 

Silver Bullet’s founders are Samuel Kane and Pamela Pierce. Mr. Kane, President & CEO, is a marketing executive and writer who has had two books on The New York Times best seller list. Ms Pierce, Vice President and Executive Director, is a lawyer, educator, child advocate, and the former Executive Director of the New Mexico Coalition for Charter Schools. Silver Bullet’s Board of Directors and Advisors include educators, film producers, finance, legal, and media experts, as well as noted community leaders Governor Jerry Apodaca, Ali MacGraw, and native American actor, Adam Beach.

Mr. Kane said, “Silver Bullet will celebrate their community’s culture within the existing New Mexico education curriculum, preserve language and tradition by using film as the platform to celebrate this heritage, and at the same time help grow the film industry in New Mexico by empowering children to learn film-making skills ”.

 

“Film -making creates relevancy,” says Ms. Pierce. “It motivates students to invest in their academic skills by engaging them in their learning; we want to draw upon what is richly unique about each rural and Native American community and to use it as a learning experience that prepares each child for future educational and economic opportunities.”