At first glance the red carpet premiere at the Angelika Film Center in Plano may look like any other. But the stars of this movie aren’t Hollywood actors. They’re North Texas children.
“You just have to be yourself and help the community,” said SLANT 45 participant Madeline Braley.
It’s the premier of SLANT 45 the movie directed by renowned filmmaker Mark Birnbaum. The documentary follows groups of children as they participate in one of the largest community service projects in the country.
“It was just a great privilege and honor to be asked into the lives of these kids,” said Mark Birnbaum. “A couple of these kids are going to be president.”
SLANT 45, or Service Learning Adventures in North Texas, partnered with non-profit organization Big Thought to create the massive project. And it all happened in support of one of the largest events in the world. The Super Bowl.
“I think it’s an example of using the vehicle of a wonderful football game but also to see the importance of doing things that are important to the community,” said Chair of North Texas SUper Bowl XLV Host Committee Roger Staubach.
The original goal of SLANT 45 included twenty thousand children dedicating over fort five thousand hours to community service. But by the end of 2010, over forty four thousand kids logged more than four hundred thousand hours making a difference and far exceeding many expectations.
“When we first sat down and the people at Big Thought talked to us about the numbers they hoped to accomplish, I was a little hesitant to think that we were going to be able to do that,” said Chair of SLANT 45 Daryl Johnston. “To see where this program ended up over the last 18 months is absolutely amazing.”
Daryl Johnston, former Dallas Cowboys fullback and Chair of SLANT 45, hopes the NFL will recognize the success of the project.
“We wanted the NFL to see what we did here and then franchise this as they move forward with other Super Bowls,” said Johnston.
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