Special Connection to "Lincoln" Inspires Unusual KO Field Trip
Posted 11/29/2012 09:44AM
About 400 people from Kingswood Oxford went to the movies en masse on Wednesday morning, Nov. 28 – but not because they were playing hooky.
In fact, it was just the opposite: Because KO has a special connection to the highly acclaimed new movie, "Lincoln," school officials wanted to leverage that relationship – plus the proximity to Blue Back Square -- for an exceptional teachable moment.
The outing was the brainchild of English Department Chair Kathy Lynch, who saw common threads from the English and history curricula in the Spielberg movie and recognized that the film could be an object lesson in KO’s new emphasis on interdisciplinary education. History teacher Rob Kyff helped arrange the logistics for the unusual field trip.
KO’s connection to “Lincoln” is Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplay for the movie and has been named the school’s Baird English Symposium speaker for 2013. Named for its late founder, former KO English department chair Warren Baird, the Symposium has brought a noted author to the Kingswood Oxford campus as a writer-in-residence for the past 30 years. E.L. Doctorow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Joyce Carol Oates, Arthur Miller, John Updike, and Jonathan Safran Foer are just a few of the authors who have been Baird Symposium speakers.
The field trip to the movies went remarkably smoothly. After assembling the 346 students in KO’s Upper School at 8:30, 47 teachers and advisors – assisted by a West Hartford police officer -- ushered the group across Trout Brook Drive and up Memorial Road to the Bow Tie Cinemas in Blue Back. The group occupied two theaters; the cost of the outing was underwritten by the English Department, the Goodman Banks Series, and the KO Parent Association.
“The success of this outing is a tribute to our students, who cooperated beautifully, as well as our faculty, who were flexible enough to make adjustments in their own teaching plans to accommodate this unique opportunity,” said Natalie Demers, KO’s Assistant Head of School for Academic Life.