Posted on July 17th, 2012
Award-Winning Filmmaker, Henry Corra, Produces Seven-Minute Film Drawing Attention to the Community of Anacostia
Horton’s Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services to 565 children and 125 families in Washington DC’s Ward 8 Anacostia neighborhood is the focus of a powerful, seven-minute documentary by renowned filmmaker Henry Corra. Corra’s previous efforts have been broadcast on HBO, SHOWTIME, LOGO, CBS, MTV, BRAVO, PBS and VH1.
The film chronicles the daily struggle of children living in this underserved section of the nation’s capital that boasts one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, though the rest of the metropolitan area has consistently been highlighted as one of the fastest-growing, robust economies in the country.
“I’ve always been very uncomfortable with the idea that in the face of great richness there is also extreme poverty,” states Horton’s Kids Founder Karin Walser in the film. “I have a problem with that – especially when it affects children.”
In Corra’s documentary, children, staff and volunteers share their personal stories about life in Ward 8 and how Horton’s Kids has helped in an environment where scarce resources hinder their ability to thrive. The film was recently uploaded on the Horton’s Kid’s YouTube channel and has already had over 20,000 views. To watch the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hypumXef66A
A huge disparity of opportunity exists between Ward 8 and surrounding Washington DC neighborhoods. In the film, Walser discusses why she was inspired to take action and help close that gap. Many children in Ward 8 have the drive to succeed at school, but their environments often lack the structure and support to advance their education.
“Horton’s Kids… put me into a school that was persistent and tried to keep us challenged,” said Horton’s Kid Anthony Simon. “They had a dream. And the dream was to help out kids in this vicinity, because being bright does not depend on where you’re from.”
One-on-one tutoring is the cornerstone of programs provided by Horton’s Kids. Three times a week, Horton’s Kids staff and volunteers tutor 125 children from grades pre-K through 12 in Congressional Office Buildings and the U.S. Department of Education headquarters.
“They supply my hunger,” says Simon, who was provided with various education materials to support his passion for Latin. After high school, Simon aspires to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or the University of Cambridge to further his education.
In addition to education, Horton’s Kids is involved in enriching other aspects of these children’s lives. The organization works to provide nutritious meals and new clothing for the children as well as collaborates with local health professionals to help provide basic health care services. Once a month, staff and volunteers join children and their families on field trips to various museums and festivals in the DC area.
“I feel honored to have been able to shed light on the day-to-day struggles these children and their families face,” said Corra. “We are also so grateful to Sherry Matthews and her Advocacy Marketing agency for their ongoing collaboration and guidance. Without Sherry’s passion and vision, this film would not have been possible. I hope this film will spread awareness of the critical work Horton’s Kids is doing and encourages others to help out in any way they can.”
Horton’s Kids also hopes that additional publicity from Corra’s film will generate much needed increased financial support from the community and build upon the services they provide to children.
“We are so grateful for Henry Corra’s film, and we hope that this exposure will spread awareness and inspire others to help enrich the lives of these children,” said Horton’s Kids Executive Director, Brenda Chamberlain. “The services provided by Horton’s Kids take commitment, passion, and volunteers. More importantly, it takes money – to buy the food, for transportation, to pay utility bills and rent. We are currently serving 40% more kids with a budget that is operating 15% below last year. There’s still a lot of work to be done for these kids.”