GapKids is celebrating kids returning to the classroom with the “Forward with” campaign and short film series by highlighting the people who help shape kids’ futures. In partnership with global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), the final short in the series, ‘Forward with Kindness,’ is inspired by the studio’s eagerly anticipated feature film Wonder, and features star Jacob Tremblay and R.J. Palacio, author of the New York Times best seller from which the motion picture was adapted.
The GapKids ‘Forward with’ campaign is a celebration of progress. It’s about extending the idea of “dressing” beyond clothing to the traits and behaviors that will lead to kids’ success. It’s about preparing kids to advance their passions by giving them the confidence, encouragement, and support they need to go forward, and it’s about calling out some amazing parents, teachers and mentors who take the time every day to dress kids with courage, kindness and possibility.
“When you think about it, kids don’t actually go back to school, they go forward in their life,” said Gap chief marketing officer Craig Brommers. “The real-life stories that we are sharing through the video series are emotional, they are optimistic, and they are what Gap is all about.”
The campaign consists of four short films, each highlighting people who are helping advance children through positive reinforcements outside the traditional educational curriculum.
- ‘Forward with Confidence’ features third grade teacher Jasmyn Wright who believes her students can be anything that they put their minds to and uses mantras to help build their confidence and equip them with the skills to approach any challenge with a positive mindset.
- ‘Forward with Focus’ highlights meditation mentor Andres Gonzalez who has been breathing love and self-awareness into underserved communities as co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation, a Baltimore based nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children through yoga, mindfulness and self-care.
- ‘Forward with Creativity’ puts the spotlight on art instructor Sasha Sicurella who encourages self-expression through art as the founding director of the I AM: International Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works globally to provide opportunities for children to explore their identity through art and self portrait photography.
- ‘Forward with Kindness’ stars actor Jacob Tremblay, who plays Auggie Pullman in Lionsgate’s Wonder, and New York Times bestselling author R.J. Palacio. Wonder tells the heartwarming story of Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences who can’t blend in because he was born to stand out, and teaches a classroom and community to move forward with kindness. The film opens in theaters on November 17 and features Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts and Oscar® nominee Owen Wilson. The short film draws upon the themes of acceptance, empathy and kindness in the classroom from Auggie’s inspiring story.
In addition to the short film series, GapKids is taking part in Lionsgate’s #ChooseKind movement leading up to the Wonder release in November.
Lionsgate, co-producer Walden Media, Random House Children’s Books, and GapKids are bringing the #ChooseKind movement to classrooms through the “Wonder Certified Kind Classroom” initiative, an educational program that focuses on teaching acts of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to third through sixth grade students.
Part of this initiative includes the GapKids #ChooseKind T-Shirt Design Contest, where students will be challenged to create a visualization of what kindness and inclusion mean to them as a design activity. Eight winning designs will be produced and sold in select U.S. GapKids stores and Gap.com starting on November 13, World Kindness Day. All profits will benefit myFace and Children’s Craniofacial Association, two non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting children with craniofacial differences.
Lastly, 400 participating classrooms will be eligible for GapKids-sponsored private Wonder screenings featuring a Facebook Q&A with select cast from the film.
The ‘Forward with’ campaign and short film series will be released throughout the month of August on Gap.com, the GapKids social channels and YouTube.com/Gap. The “Wonder Certified Kind Classroom” program will run from August 2017 through April 2018, and teachers can register to participate by visiting www.wonderkindclassroom.com.