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The least of these

Emily_VanCamp_Beyond_the_Blackboard_movie_Photo_Credit_Hallmark_Hall_of_Fame_CNA_US_Catholic_News_4_20_11On Sunday at 9 Eastern/8 Central, CBS will air Beyond the Blackboard, Hallmark Hall of Fame's inspirational story of teacher and author Stacey Bess. It's a sweet, straightforward film about how Bess went from pregnant high school dropout to award-winning teacher of homeless children. Emily VanCamp gives a strong performance as the young woman who started out scared of poverty, but ended up buying school supplies with her own money and taking a needy child home with her.

Easter seems like an especially good time for such a movie, with its focus on "the least of these." To see these forgotten children living in squalor, and how their teacher learns to see them as the precious little lives that they are, is to be reminded that every life, even those that seem most hopeless, has value in the eyes of the Savior who came to redeem us.

For more on Beyond the Blackboard and the real Stacey Bess, click here and here. For a teacher's guide and interviews with those involved in the making of the film, including Bess herself, visit Hallmark Hall of Fame's site.

Thanks to Lisa Dolab and Hallmark Hall of Fame for the review DVD. Image copyright Mercedes Heinila for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Inc.

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