DETROIT (December 13, 2013) – Students at Durfee Elementary-Middle School had the unique opportunity to engage one-on-one with Hollywood co-producer Allegra Clegg on Friday, December 13 to learn about the making of Transformers: Age of Extinction, filmed in Detroit.
Clegg, a key member of the filmmaking team on the first three installments of the Transformers franchise, presented a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Transformers as part of a collaboration with Get Schooled and Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom, to help boost attendance across Detroit Public Schools.
During her visit, Clegg detailed how the city of Detroit was literally transformed to complete the film and engaged the group of roughly 250 students in a discussion about career options in the movie production industry and the importance of attendance on a movie set.
Durfee was selected to host the in-school event with Paramount Pictures as the winner of the “Get Schooled Attendance Campaign” in October. Get Schooled’s nationwide campaign encourages students to attend school all day, every day, through a competition in which young people win cool prizes simply by “checking in” on the Get Schooled website as they attend school. This back to school season, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) partnered with Viacom and its social responsibility umbrella Viacommunity to host the Get Schooled Attendance Campaign solely for Detroit Public School students.
The lucky eighth-graders who participated in the Get Schooled Attendance Campaign also received replicas of the Transformers hats worn on set by the production crew.
Thanks to students such as Jawaun White, 14, an eighth-grader at Durfee; and his Social Studies Teacher Linda Miner, Durfee beat out the competition in a landslide.
“We are honored that Durfee was selected as the winning school of the Get Schooled Attendance Campaign and even more thrilled that Allegra Clegg was able to visit our school,” said Ricardo Martin, principal of Durfee. “Our students worked extremely hard to win the contest and encouraged one another to attend school daily, as they do all throughout the school year. Attendance is the leading factor to future academic success. A direct correlation exists between higher grade point averages and being on time, ready to learn every day. With a laser focus, we are making perfect attendance the norm at Durfee to impact student achievement.”
DPS and Viacommunity will collaborate again in January to help boost attendance during the Winter semester in support of the district’s recently announced Retain and Gain Campaign. The comprehensive year-round student retention program kicks off this month to support the district’s ongoing strategic initiatives and retention and recruitment efforts.
The Attendance Campaign falls under the district’s five-year Strategic Plan to initiate new methods to better serve the needs of students and families. Additional initiatives being implemented this school year as part of the Strategic Plan include Universal Pre-Kindergarten for eligible students, Arts/Music enrichment for all elementary-middle school students, Enhanced Safety Patrols, a new K-8 Sports League, Community Schools serving as hubs of their neighborhoods, a new Parent University, Career Academies, better Customer Service, and new Code of Conduct and Attendance policies.
The new Attendance Policy aims to provide a standardized and consistent district-wide policy for better enforcement; increase accountability among students, parents, staff and support agencies; and address changes in Michigan Compulsory Attendance Laws and Department of Human Services policies affecting family aid eligibility standards.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction, ” starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and newcomers Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor, is scheduled for worldwide release on June 27, 2014.
About Allegra Clegg
Clegg has also produced “America’s Sweethearts,” “13 Going on 30” and “Christmas with the Kranks,” and co-produced “Hancock” and the supernatural thriller “Paranormal Activity 4” among others. In addition to her movie production feats, Clegg shares an equal passion for youth enrichment as President of the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization, Westside Ballet Company of Santa Monica, one of the countries premiere ballet training companies. She recently assumed Directorship of Westside School of Ballet, founded by her late mother, prima ballerina Yvonne Mounsey, who danced with the New York City Ballet and Johannesburg City Ballet companies.
About Detroit Public Schools
Detroit Public Schools is creating Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools at 97 campuses with a mission to provide a comprehensive educational experience that is high-quality, challenging and inspires all students to make a positive contribution to society. DPS offers a wide variety of educational advantages to students and parents including Individualized Learning Maps for all students. New this year, arts/music and sports leagues for boys and girls are being offered at every elementary/middle school. Prekindergarten offerings have been expanded to 70 schools across the district for all qualified 4-year-olds. Twenty-one schools are now open as Community Schools, offering extended hours and services. Students in grades 8-12 enjoy take-home Netbooks and students in grades 6 and up have access to Netbooks in school. An outstanding Fine Arts program with instrumental music, vocal music and dance is also offered. Ongoing advantages include eight parent resource centers, Parent University and additional parenting programs, enhanced safety initiatives, a district-wide Customer Service focus, nine Detroit Rising College Preparatory Schools and DPS-authorized charter schools led by educators with proven track records of raising achievement. In 2013, DPS graduates earned more than $146 million in grants and scholarships. To learn more about Detroit Public Schools, visit www.detroitk12.org or call 313-240-4DPS.
About Get Schooled
Get Schooled is a non-profit organization that directly engages and motivates students to graduate from high school and succeed in college. Get Schooled is the premiere education brand for young people – linking students with high quality, cutting edge resources and tools they need to succeed. Get Schooled has developed a track record of success because it engages with young Americans using the media, technology and popular culture that is an integral part of their lives. Get Schooled’s work is boosted by partners like Viacom, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Google. In its first three years, Get Schooled has engaged more than 3 million students and has built a network of more 2,000 middle and high schools.
About Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.