“World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements is an endearing and powerful film that vividly shows how one extraordinarily insightful and compassionate teacher, John Hunter, treated his students like the intelligent young beings they are and engaged them in a serious discussion about leadership and making tough choices in a complex world. Everyone should see this film – it is fun, thought-provoking, and truly inspiring.”
– Susan Hackley
Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
The award-winning documentary from Director Chris Farina and Rosalia Films, World Peace and Other Fourth-Grade Achievements interweaves the story of John Hunter, a teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his students’ participation in an exercise called the World Peace Game. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood public school to citizens of the world. The film reveals how a wise, loving teacher can unleash students’ full potential.
The film traces how Hunter’s unique teaching career emerges from his own diverse background. An African-American educated in the segregated schools of rural Virginia, where his mother was his 4th grade teacher, he was selected by his community to be one of seven students to integrate a previously all-white middle school. After graduation, he traveled extensively to China, Japan, and India, and his exposure to the Gandhian principles of nonviolence led him to ask what he could do as a teacher to work toward a more peaceful world.
Hunter teaches the concept of peace not as a utopian dream but as an attainable goal to strive for, and he provides his students with the tools for this effort. The children learn to collaborate and communicate with each other as they work to resolve the Game’s conflicts. They learn how to compromise while accommodating different perspectives and interests. Most importantly, the students discover that they share a deep and abiding interest in taking care of each other. World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements will inspire others by documenting the unheralded work of a true peacemaker.
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Film by Chris Farina/Rosalia Films
For more information, please visit www.rosaliafilms.com
One need only watch the faces of the students in this film to understand the power of the message in World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements. Their intense engagement, trust in the relationship with their teacher, confidence in their own voices, and ability to collaborate serve as inspirations. John Hunter, in a manner both humble and poetic, articulates what it takes to create his particular variety of classroom magic and his hopefulness for the future. Teachers and school leaders everywhere should take an hour to watch this from beginning to end.
“World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements is an inspirational documentary that engages the audience on many different levels as it follows John Hunter’s mission as a teacher to challenge his students’ thinking and imaginations well beyond their experiences. It will leave you motivated and hopeful about the future of the world in the hands of the young leaders in John’s classroom.
– J. Andrew Stamp
Associate Executive Director – Virginia Association of School Superintendents