Cory (Dan Byrd) is not enthusiastic about meeting Dan (Tom Nowicki) and Michele (Robin O’Dell), his new foster parents. Clearly, he has already decided it makes no sense to allow himself to get close to people. He responds to their kindness and patience by thawing a little, but it is not until his choir goes to perform at a nursing home that he finds someone to feel close to.
It is Carlotta (Julie Harris), like Cory also unhappy and out of place. Cory buys Carlotta the ingredients she needs to make her special candy, halvah. He loves to hear about her life in the circus, and as they become close they agree to be each other’s family.
When Cory thinks he overhears Michelle and Dan saying they are going to send him away, he goes to see Carlotta, and they agree to run away together. At first, they are able to support themselves by selling halvah. But when someone threatens to report Cory as truant from school, they run away. They find a circus and persuade Boss Ed (Mickey Rooney) to take them on to sell concessions. Carlotta meets up with some old friends and Cory makes some new ones (and triumphs over a jealous bully). They are very happy, until Carlotta becomes ill and has to go to the hospital. The circus has to leave without them, but Cory finds a way to have the family he dreamed of. This sweet, episodic story has many magical moments. The backstage glimpses of circus life are delightful. Cory even gets some batting advice from Joe DiMaggio, who appears as himself. Families of all kinds will respond to this story about people who triumph over a series of obstacles to create a family for themselves.
Kate Hudson wrote and directed an endearing short film with an all-star cast that is an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Virginia Madsen stars as a mother whose daughter (Dakota Fanning) has a dream that reminds her of the dream she had when she was young. “Twilight’s” Kristen Stewart plays Madsen’s character as a teenager and Kurt Russell (Hudson’s real-life step-dad) plays her father. The cast also includes Chevy Chase. It is well worth a look for its heartwarming story and appealing performances.
A fond farewell to Bea Arthur, best remembered as the strident, ground-breaking “Maude” and as Dorothy on “The Golden Girls.” I loved her duet in “Mame” and I loved her gutsy bravado and brilliant comic timing.
The Institute for Humane Education is offering an online program for teachers
called Sowing Seeds Online. Humane education provides the knowledge, tools, and motivation to enable students to become engaged and fulfilled solutions for a peaceful and sustainable world. It is a month-long online course for secondary school teachers that begins on May 1, 2009.
Sowing Seeds Online provides teachers with an opportunity to dive into the issues of humane education, enliven their teaching, enrich their courses, and help their students become ever more engaged citizens.
* Teachers will develop new techniques and ideas to make their classes more rewarding, interesting, and meaningful.
* They will learn new strategies and develop tools and ideas for teaching about the most important issues of our time, while interacting online with other educators and the course advisors.
* Participants will receive a copy of The Power and Promise of Humane Education by Zoe Weil, President and Cofounder of the Institute for Humane Education.