FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Julia Markham-Cameron, firstname.lastname@example.org, (312) 955-0818
CHICAGO (April 28, 2015) — Chicago-based education technology company ThinkCERCA, along with Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions announced today a strategic partnership to develop free, online QuickCERCA lessons based on the WE THE ECONOMY series. These lessons, which cover a broad range of topics from government economic regulation to the GDP, were created to spark a deeper public understanding of the the drivers of the U.S. economy.
Produced by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan, WE THE ECONOMY is a series of 22 entertaining short films by award-winning directors which seeks to demystify a complicated topic while empowering individuals to take control of their own economic futures.
In this partnership, ThinkCERCA has developed free educational lessons, known as QuickCERCAs, for each We the Economy video. They are CCSS-aligned and engage students from grades six through 12 in reading, writing and critical thinking exercises.
“At ThinkCERCA, we know one of the best ways to engage students with important issues across the curriculum is through compelling, authentic texts,” said Eileen Murphy Buckley, founder and CEO of ThinkCERCA. “This partnership centered on the WE THE ECONOMY series means we have 20 challenging and innovative new pieces of content to help students understand and relate to important economic issues. Exposing them to the amazing authentic content from WE THE ECONOMY allows us to fulfill our goal of sparking creative, critical debate in classrooms around the nation.”
ThinkCERCA is now used by over 17,000 classrooms serving 115,000 students across all 50 states and 112 countries to improve college and career readiness through cross-curricular reading, writing and debate.
The We the Economy QuickCERCA lessons will be available on the ThinkCERCA website starting on April 28. Teachers can access them at https://learn.thinkcerca.com/library.
ThinkCERCA is a schoolwide online educational resource designed to prepare students for career and college by helping them build analytical reading and writing skills across subject matter. ThinkCERCA graduated from the inaugural class of the Impact Engine Accelerator in December 2012 and won the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Literacy Courseware Challenge in July 2013. To learn more, please visit www.ThinkCERCA.com.
Vulcan Productions and Cinelan have partnered to produce 20 short films by award-winning directors — with their own creative vision — to drive awareness and a better understanding of the U.S. economy and reach the broadest possible audience. This short film series, which features animation, comedy, musical, nonfiction and scripted films, seeks to demystify the U.S. economy for audiences while empowering individuals of the next generation to take control of the planet’s economic future – and their own economic trajectories. Top economic experts, including distinguished professors, policy analysts, journalists and historians helped identify 20 key topics about the U.S. economy that every citizen will benefit from understanding. The directors then worked closely with select economic advisors who provided editorial guidance for these five to eight-minute films, which have been organized into five chapters: What is the Economy? What is Money? What is the Role of our Government in the Economy? What is Globalization? What Causes Inequality?
The Directors are Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, Goodbye Solo), Bob Balaban (Gosford Park, The Exonerated), Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost trilogy), Jon M. Chu (Step Up, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Marshall Curry (Street Fight, If a Tree Falls), Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, Detropia), Adrian Grenier (Entourage, How To Make Money Selling Drugs), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen), Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol), Chris Henchy (The Campaign, The Other Guys), Lee Hirsch (Bully, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony), Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli, Menace II Society), Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself), Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream), Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, Chisholm ’72), Adam McKay (Anchorman, Funny or Die), Jehane Noujaim (The Square, Control Room), James Schamus (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain), Morgan Spurlock (CNN’s Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Super Size Me), Miao Wang (Beijing Taxi, Yellow Ox Mountain) and Jessica Yu (Last Call at the Oasis, In the Realms of the Unreal).
The Economic Advisors are Dean Baker (co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research), Yoram Bauman (economist and author, The Cartoon Book of Macroeconomics), Jodi Beggs (educator and economics professor, Northeastern University), Adam Davidson (co-founder and host, NPR’s “Planet Money”), John Steele Gordon (author, An Empire of Wealth), Greg Ip (U.S. economics editor, The Economist and author, The Little Book of Economics), Neil Irwin (senior economic correspondent, New York Times and author, The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire), Markus Koch (financial journalist, N-TV), Annalyn Kurtz (business and economics reporter) and Diane Lim (chief economist, Pew Charitable Trusts).