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Documentary highlighting Brooklyn school coming to Steamboat

Authors to host signing at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore

— Everywhere you look in the public sphere, it’s easy to see the demographics of the U.S. are changing.

Maybe nowhere is this more apparent than in classrooms.

To try and tell the story of the challenges in schools and the sudden emerging identity of a new America, the critically acclaimed documentary “I Learn America” will screen at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bud Werner Memorial Library. The event is free.

The film looks at the fact one in four children is an immigrant or was born to immigrant parents. The film follows the International High School of Lafayette in Brooklyn, N.Y., which has immigrants from around the world. It follows five students and their families, chronicling the successes and struggles of making it in America.

“It’s hard to walk away from this film and not feel like you’re walking in the shoes of these students,” said Dave Fulton, the regional director for Facing History and Ourselves, an organization that helped bring the movie to Colorado.

Following the screening of the 92-minute film, director Jean-Michel Dissard and three of the students featured in the film will speak and answer questions.

The film then will screen Thursday at the Denver Film Festival.

Fulton said the organization decided to bring the film to Steamboat because of previous work it had done with the high school involving bullying and safe school work.

“I think it’s an issue that matters to all of us,” he said. “I think it increasingly matters to the Steamboat community.”

The Brooklyn school helps immigrants from more than 50 countries assimilate and prosper academically, socially and linguistically.

“The questions of immigration are who gets to belong to the community and what matters to us,” Fulton said. “We’ve been impressed with Steamboat and suggesting these (English language learner) students are members of the Steamboat community.”

Local authors to sign books Wednesday

Three local authors will showcase their works from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore.

Authors Jorge Avila, Linda Collison and Mason A. Crow will discuss their books, do select readings, answer any questions and sign copies.

Avila’s book, “Suriana and the Sulfur Cave,” is the first book in a four-part fantasy series. Most of the settings take place in Steamboat Springs. Avila released his book two months ago.

Collison’s novel “Looking for Redfeather” is a coming-of-age tale of three runaways who come together to find one of their fathers. It’s Collison’s sixth book and third novel. She wrote the first draft in 2007 before finishing it in October.

Crow’s book, “Car Store Colorado,” is a fictional work based on his real-life experience selling cars. It took crow 18 months to write it before releasing the book last November.

He said it’s “88 to 93 percent true,” but that the names and places have changed.

“Generally, I tell people it’s a heart-warming tale for tough guys,” he said. “Part of the reason to write the book is people don’t have a high opinion of car salesman. Truth is, they are some of the most brutally honest people you’ll meet. That’s not to say every car guy is the most honest, but what generally people don’t like about car guys is they tell it how it is.”

All three books will be available at Off the Beaten Path.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham


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