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Love Them First: Lessons from Lucey Laney Elem.

5th STXIFF presents "Love Them First: Lessons from Lucey Laney Elementary" from the National Feature Film Competition

One Year. One Principal. One heartbreaking setback as her failing elementary school struggles to get off “the list.” With unprecedented access over the course of a year, LOVE THEM FIRST follows the determination of a charismatic Minneapolis school principal, Mauri Melander Friestleben, as she sets out to undo history. Not only does Minnesota have the largest achievement gap between black and white children in the United States, Friestleben faced another seemingly impossible obstacle, with Lucy Laney at the bottom of the state’s list of underperforming schools for two decades. Under Friestleben’s leadership, standardized test scores from most black students began rising for the first time, but when the school encounters a heartbreaking setback, Friestleben is forced to confront the true measure of student success at Lucy Laney. It’s a story of inspiration, heartbreak, perseverance and the power of love.



Earlier Event: September 7
Panel - Feature Filmmakers in Competition
Later Event: September 7
5th Annual STXIFF Award Ceremony