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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nobody Don't Love Nobody

At a time of state and federal budget cuts for education, Hallmark aired on CBS an uplifting, feel-good movie about how one compassionate and dedicated teacher can make a difference in children's lives.

"Beyond the Blackboard," (photo) debuted this past Sunday night. Based on a true story, it stars Emily Van Camp as a first-year teacher in Salt Lake City who is assigned to instruct homeless children.

The events took place in 1987 when real-life teacher Stacey Bess was 24 and starting her teaching career. She was assigned to homeless children in a makeshift classroom under a freeway viaduct that had no books, no desks, no custodian and almost no support at what was known as "The School With No Name." Her students, in grades one through six, were all from the streets.

Stacey Bess has said that she originally had signed on for six months hoping that when it was over she would be relocated to a school in a nice neighborhood. But she discovered that these children needed her and she could have an impact on their lives. She stayed for 11 years.

The movie was inspired by Bess' 1994 book "Nobody Don't Love Nobody," which recounts how she took a compassionate and nonjudgmental approach, giving the children unconditional love.
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