Class of ’27 from KET

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Class of ’27 documentary features Owsley County, with introduction by Ky. author Silas House

In the first segment, Class of ’27 follows a class of preschoolers at Owsley County Elementary School in Booneville, Ky., where their devoted teacher Betsy Coomer draws on decades of experience to help prepare them for Kindergarten and the years of schooling ahead. Tim Bobrowski, superintendent of Owsley County Schools, discusses the challenges facing his students – many of whom are being raised by grandparents due, in part, to the county’s drug abuse crisis. Cleda Turner, director of Owsley County Outreach, details her agency’s work to provide food to children over the weekend, so that they can come to school on Mondays ready to learn.

Interviews with several additional Owsley County residents, including Rosa Noble, who is raising her grandchildren, and Victoria Thomas, a recovering addict, merge to tell the story of a community that, despite its struggles, has set its sights on supporting a bright future for its children.

Author Silas House, a native of Eastern Kentucky and NEH Chair of Appalachian Literature at Berea College, appears in the introduction of Class of ’27. “I grew up in a place very much like Owsley County, only a couple of counties away,” he says in the film. “It was economically distressed [and] looked down upon by most Americans and by the media. But, it was also a place that had really dedicated educators, people in the community who were devoted to making a difference, especially in the lives of children. Those people had a tremendous impact on me, on my life and on my education – the same way that the people who show up in Owsley County in the Class of ’27 are certainly going to have a terrific impact on the lives of these children.”

Class of ’27: America Reframed is a co-production of Lost Nation Pictures, and Independent Television Service, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

An online screening and live chat for CLASS OF ’27 airs on September 29th at 2 pm ET/1 pm CT. You can RSVP here.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and facebook.com/KET and at KET.org.

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