As a project, The Next Link: Building Sustainable Communities focuses its educational goals
towards achieving a sustainable heritage and culture-friendly environment,
whether simply in the classroom or within communities on both local and
national levels. It seeks to do so by initiating a positive cycle of three
phases: a) documentation, b) discussion, and c) proactive exercises. This
cycle is imperative in fostering the collective action necessary for creating
such an environment.
For those across the country in the high-school and university classroom
environments, the film and its supplemental curriculum materials will
yield a variety of insights into universal humanities themes, including
but not restricted to: an understanding of our collective origins; a sense
of place within the context of history, family, and society; the interdependence
of human nature and ecology; inter-generational dialogue; and proactive
solutions to humanities-based problems facing the local, national, and
global spheres today.
This grassroots approach to empowering students and community members
is initiated by The Last Link as it moves into the classroom
and other viewing venues around the country. It puts the three-part
cycle into motion as well as providing the groundwork for one complete
revolution of its course, with the curriculum as the catalyst.
PART ONE: Documentation
The Last Link fulfills this portion of the cycle the first
time around, providing documentation of a culture facing a variety of
universal problems, including the threat to its lineage. In future cases,
students will providing the documentation themselves.
PART TWO: Discussion and Education
Curriculum designed for a wide range of disciplines (for example Foreign
Languages, Language Arts, Film/Video, Art, and Music) will facilitate
discussion and debate on sustainable heritage and culture and related
humanities topics. The film and its stories will provide context and act
as a hub for conversation.
PART THREE: Proactive Exercises
Using the film as a prototype and the classroom discussions as material,
students will venture into their own communities, as part of the curriculum,
to document the variety of cultures and heritages present there. These
works will be collected into localized community oral history libraries.
Thus, the cycle is renewed. Through this and numerous other community
service programs centered around the elderly population, vital intergenerational
dialogue will be established.