'Why I Teach,' Series of Teacher-Made Films, to Be Distributed to Schools by The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and The Pearson Foundation

Films Created by Winners of the Teacher of the Year Program Sponsored by CCSSO, New Member of the Digital Arts Alliance

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the Pearson Foundation will promote and distribute a new collection of personal films created by winners of the 2008 CCSSO Teacher of the Year program. The more than 50 films, each entitled "Why I Teach," showcase the personal motivations, challenges, and successes of this year's honorees. These testimonies present in these exemplary educators' own words their personal reasons for choosing teaching as a career.

The Pearson Foundation also announced that CCSSO has joined the Digital Arts Alliance, the consortium that promotes digital arts K-12 education through fully funded and staffed programs delivered directly to schools and community centers nationwide. The Pearson Foundation is the founding partner in the Digital Arts Alliance, and part of Pearson, the international education and information company. The announcement was made at the CCSSO Annual Policy Forum (APF) and Business Meeting, held Nov. 13-16 in Austin, Texas.

Each film was scripted, edited, and completed by participating CCSSO Teachers of the Year during a hands-on Digital Arts Alliance workshop hosted earlier this year in New York City by the Pearson Foundation. Teachers integrated photos of their students, their classrooms, and their schools with personal narratives that showcased their motivations for teaching. They then made use of the latest digital filmmaking software to create the completed films.

"The CCSSO Teacher of the Year program exists to honor and to celebrate our nation's best teachers, and these remarkable and inspiring films do just that," said Gene Wilhoit, CCSSO's Executive Director. "The films' impact is all the more remarkable because these teachers -- many of whom had little or no digital arts experience when the workshop began -- made them themselves, with the support of the Pearson Foundation's Digital Arts Alliance staff."

Mark Nieker, president of the Pearson Foundation, said, "The Digital Arts Alliance gives teachers the chance to explore the digital and mobile technologies their students make use of every day. In the process of learning how to create their own digital stories, these teachers crafted short personal films that remind us all of the ways in which we've been shaped and changed by remarkable teachers in our own lives. We're honored to welcome these amazing educators, and the CCSSO Teacher of the Year program, to the Digital Arts Alliance."

The complete collection of films created by the 2008 CCSSO Teachers of the Year -- as well as corresponding films created by the 2007 class -- is available online at the CCSSO and Pearson Foundation websites (www.ccsso.org; www.pearsonfoundation.org). The Pearson Foundation and Pearson Education are also making a DVD compendium disc of "Why I Teach" films available to schools, educators, and university departments of education. More information can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.

About The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks members' consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

About The Digital Arts Alliance

Each year, the Digital Arts Alliance makes it possible for more than 15,000 students and their teachers to experience firsthand how laptop computers, video production equipment, and the latest mobile-phone technologies are changing the ways young people can organize, present, and share information and issues that matter to them. Alliance members believe that using technologies to enhance personal expression creates an expanded kind of literacy, often referred to as 21st Century literacy, which people -- especially young people -- already use in their everyday lives.

About the Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's (PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.