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State Theatre New Jersey

Movies

It’s a Wonder-ful Time to #ChooseKind

What do you get when you put together Jacob Tremblay (Room, The Book of Henry), Owen Wilson (Zoolander, Wedding Crashers), and Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolia)? A Wonder-filled movie! Wonder is based on the #1 New York Times Bestselling book by R.J. Palacio, in which Tremblay stars as Auggie Pullman. Auggie is like any 10-year old boy, except he has craniofacial differences which have prevented him from going to public school. Until now, Auggie embarks on a journey through fifth-grade at a public school for the first time. We follow him, his family—which includes Wilson and Roberts playing his parents—and the broader community as all struggles to find acceptance and compassion. This film is a story about the importance of family, friendship, and above all, kindness. Wonder is directed and co-written by Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower). Catch a FREE screening of Wonder at the State Theatre New Jersey on August 7 at 10:30am or 7pm!

On the first day of school, Auggie sees a quote by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer on the board, “If you had a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” This quote found in the film and novel sparked the Choose Kind Movement. The story is so well praised, that many teachers and schools incorporated Palacio’s book into their curriculum plans, and selected it for countless school-wide and community reads across the country. It is an excellent vehicle for discussions about kindness, bullying, responsibility, overcoming challenges, and friendship.

This past school year, educators around the nation were invited to participate in the Certified Kind Classroom Challenge; an educational initiative focused on using the book and film adaptation to teach children in grades three through six the themes of kindness and empathy. As students learn about the book, they are gifted with small rewards and incentives. The movement has online resources for educators to distribute materials and content as part of a year-long lesson plan. Through curated challenges, art projects, group discussions and class unity activities, the Choose Kind Movement inspired various anti-bullying campaigns in schools and communities.

Using the hashtag #choosekind on Instagram, social media contributors, most of whom are elementary schools and educators, are sharing positive posts on how they encourage kindness. From creating fan art of the movie and book, to reading and discussing the book, to inserting uplifting quotes and messages, these social media posts act as a reminder for online users to choose kind every day. Currently, there are more than 82,000 posts under the hashtag to spread continual kindness, and over 72,000 students, organizations, and educators around the world who pledge to choose kind every day according to the official Choose Kind Movement website. 

Remember to #ChooseKind and join Auggie on his extraordinary journey during a FREE screening of Wonder at the State Theatre New Jersey on August 7 at 10:30am or 7pm

By Bernadine Quach

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