A national effort is underway to allow students to celebrate a national movement.
From Jan. 16 through Jan. 19, Martin Luther, King Jr. Day, Connecticut students in grades seven, eight and nine have the chance to see the movie "Selma" for free at select theaters around the state.
“I think it is fantastic,” said Sandra Kelsey, of Avon. “I think it is a wonderful opportunity for kids to go see these films and learn about history.”
The AMC Lowes in Plainville is one of 10 local theaters that will feature the film, which depicts King’s dangerous struggle to secure equal voting rights.
According to Scott Esdaile, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Connecticut, the takeaway is tremendous.
“A lot of people just focus on the 'I have a dream' speech. They don't understand all of the sacrifices that Dr. King had to make,” said Esdaile.
Free admission is possible thanks to a fund created by a number of people and families who hope at least 8,000 local students wo;; be inspired by the film’s message of resilience and hope.
Yeissmin Quinones, of New Britain, said the movie provides a perfect platform to educate students.
“They see things in a book they don't put interest, you put it in a movie they are going to remember it," Quinones said. "It’s almost like you put it on social media they are going to remember it.”
In fact, students will take to social media to share their responses to the film, along with the hashtag "#Selmaforstudents."
Students interested in attending must present their student IDs or report cards at any of the participating locations.