Mansfield ISD Magazine Summer 2016 - Page 34

MISD Students Gain National Recognition for Documentary A Day With the Dads at Perry Elementary A call for politicians to make serious changes to the country’s foster care system is what earned two Mansfield ISD high school students national attention. Makenna Hennegan and Kristen Laurie, from Lake Ridge High School, received an honorable mention by C-SPAN for their documentary “To a Good Home.” The film highlighted victims of a flawed foster system and was one of 2,500 that was received for the cable network’s StudentCam contest. The junior and sophomore duo entered the contest through a project in their Ben Barber Career and Technology Academy (BBCTA) film class. Hennegan said the topic has been dear to her for a long time. “I always cared about the foster care system,” said the 11th grader. “Some of these children live in deplorable conditions. I’ve heard stories where children are locked away without food.” The two filmmakers received their award at a ceremony at BBCTA on March 22. A representative from U.S. Congressman Joe Barton’s office presented them with a personal congratulatory letter. Hennegan and Laurie won $250 for their documentary. They said they will use the winnings to start their next creative film project. Brent Beale (left) and his daughter Ella attended the All Pro Dad’s Day with Principal Willie Wimbrey. T o outsiders looking in, a group of dads were meeting inside of Annette Perry Elementary School’s cafeteria. However, for the children of the fathers who attended, it was a gathering of superheroes. All Pro Dad’s Day is a monthly school program where dads and kids meet to have breakfast and enjoy meaningful conversation that strengthens their relationship. The program is part of All Pro Dad, a national organization with a mission to help fathers love and lead their family well through various tips and activities. Perry Elementary’s group was started by Brent Beale, a parent who is also the regional captain. He said he felt the need to start a chapter because he knows the effects of growing up without a father. “My dad wasn’t present in my life,” Beale explained. “Then, I had my daughter and I said to myself that I wasn’t going to do the same to her. I might make mistakes, but she knows I’m there.” Fathers at the April meeting received a special treat because the president of the national organization, Mark Merrill, came out to personally visit and inspire them. Laurie (left) and Hennegan (right) said they plan to work together on many future video projects. 32 Mansfield School & Family “Annette Perry Elementary School has a tremendous All Pro Dad program,” said Merrill. “We wanted to make sure to be here and support it. I think it’s important to speak into the lives of parents.” All Pro Dad’s Day started with fathers, but it’s open for moms to attend too.