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LAUSD Partners With Array 101, Founded By Ava Duvernay, To Use Films Like "Selma" In Summer Curriculum

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - The 2014 Oscar nominated film "Selma," directed by Ava Duvernay, along with it's companion study guide, Array 101, will be used as part of Los Angeles Unified School District's summer curriculum.

The film portrays Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's 1965 campaign for voting rights.

Selma Array

Along with directing the film, Duvernay founded Array, a social change organization dedicated to amplifying films and shows made by people of color and women. Array 101 is a companion guide for education.

"She's saying, 'We're not going to go with the structures that have been put in place that we've seen fail our children and our adults. We're going to try something radical and different and new,'" Tammy Thomas Garnes, a former teacher, who's now with Array 101 said. "Let's talk about how the effects of the civil rights movement and the things that we thought we accomplished may or may not be manifesting themselves today."

LAUSD was already using Array's companion guide in teaching resources. Now, they are Array's first official school district partner.

"It allowed us to integrate that learning so that it goes across...it goes through math, history and English, so that the students are more engaged and will, therefore, retain that information at a higher rate," said Ethan Faulkner, a high school English teacher at LAUSD Edward R. Roybal Learning Center.

Faulkner was using the materials earlier this year before the district officially incorporated it into this summer's curriculum.

"Having this accompaniment with 'Selma' and showing how it intersects with years and history, and then how we're moving forward today, that is exactly what we want students to have," Kimberly Frelow of Link Learning, the organization that facilitated the partnership with LAUSD and Array, said.

Garnes said that utilizing Array provides an opportunity for media literacy in a way that students have never had before.

LAUSD also said it has plans to incorporate other films and shows by various directors in the fall.

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