‘Lincoln’ gets social with students

Participant asking teens to 'Stand Tall' with new campaign

Steve Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is heading to high school and middle school via a Participant Media’s social action campaign “Stand Tall: Live Like Lincoln.”

The campaign launches Tuesday, the 204th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, as part of an educational outreach program about the significance of Lincoln’s leadership and the importance of that period in our nation’s history.

Participant Media will be hosting “Lincoln” screenings Tuesday that will bring the film to eight U.S. towns all named Lincoln, followed in mid-March with screenings at 15 Lincoln high schools in largely underserved communities.

The campaign will be giving a free copy of “Lincoln” on DVD to every middle school and high school in America along with an educator’s guide to help teachers. Participant Media, DreamWorks and Fox/Newscorp are funding the effort with Disney In-Home, which is creating the packaging, and Disney Educational Prods., which is handling the distribution.

“As more and more people began to see the film, we received letters from teachers asking if it could be available in their classrooms,” Spielberg said. “We realized that the educational value that ‘Lincoln’ could have was not only for the adult audiences — who have studied his life in history books — but for the young students in the classroom as well.”

Participant CEO Jim Berk said a study by Penn Schoen Berland found that more than half of Americans think it’s important to learn about Lincoln, but two thirds say they know little to nothing about him. “While I’m sure that’s changed thanks to the tremendous popularity of the film and all the surrounding attention, it still clearly indicated the need to better educate our students about the 16th President’s accomplishments,” he added.

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