Even more refreshing than watching “Wonder,” a movie promoting kindness, is watching it at The Prospector Theater where thoughtfulness is at the forefront of its mission. Moreover, the 1,000 students who are part of the 22 Service Learning trips to the Prospector to watch “Wonder,” will see more than the encouraging movie. They will interact with Prospects, employees of the theater, and learn while being dazzled.
“Wonder,” the story from RJ Palacio’s New York Times bestseller book of the same name, tells a heartwarming story about a boy, Auggie who has facial differences, and his family, as he goes through the 5th Grade. His family, his classmates, and the larger school community struggle to learn acceptance but discover his uniqueness is what makes him so wonderful.
The 1,000 students from the 22 local schools will be coming by the busload to watch "Wonder," this week, accompanied by their teachers and administrations. It will open up discussions, with Prospects, with friends and family, and extend to their community about appearances, bullying, differences, and ultimately acceptance.
The Prospector Theater, which provides meaningful employment to people with disabilities is a not for profit movie theater, where the Prospects (employees) are encouraged to showcase their talents and abilities. Prospects work in every department of the theater, in expected theater jobs like the Box Office or at Concessions, but also working in departments like Development, Video Production, and Popcorn Baking.
Students who will attend the many Service Learning for "Wonder," will meet Prospects who will teach about the mission of the theater. Prospects will help students to find their seats, where the children will have fresh, Prospector made popcorn waiting for them. Prospects will give a speech about the theater and the movie before it begins. Prospects will deliver incredible customer service and students, teachers, and administrators will be thoroughly amused while learning. Service Learning trips can include a range of activities, guided by the Prospects, creating empathy while being entertaining.
Juliana Fodera, a Prospect who worked with the Weston school's 7th grade Service Learning Screening and Tour said, "I enjoyed that the students were excited to see the movie and comparing it to the book. They also were engaged with the tour and asked insightful questions as I explained important mission-centric art pieces."
"Auggie admitted when he was scared, but stepped out of his comfort zone," she continues about "Wonder," "but ultimately that is what made him an inspiration. Not the fact that he had a disability."
The Prospector, created by visionary Valerie Jensen shows how people working together can improve the quality of lives for those with disabilities and is thrilled to be screening "Wonder," and hosting the Service Learning trips for so many local schools.