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Addressing childhood trauma takes a village

Support our campaign to distribute our documentary to schools and child advocates.

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Have you watched the Notebook documentary, Glen’s Village? Were you moved by the story of Glen’s journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the University of Pennsylvania?

The Philadelphia Public School Notebook is seeking to bring Glen’s Village to a wider audience – particularly to education professionals and advocates who work with children affected by trauma. We are raising funds to distribute the film by launching our first crowd-funding campaign at

Glen’s Village, produced by the Notebook and 5th Borough Films, immerses viewers in Glen’s West Philadelphia neighborhood and the nearby Penn campus in University City. Although just a few blocks apart, the two communities might as well be separated by oceans. Glen’s journey from being a 9th-grade troublemaker dealing crack cocaine on the streets to attending an Ivy League institution is filled with bumps, bruises, and redemption.

The film’s message needs to be heard: that there are many Glens out there whose behavior may be misunderstood and who aren’t getting the support they need.

Our goal is to create Glen’s Village packages containing the film, a discussion guide, and a poster that we can mail out to principals, high school guidance counselors, and other child advocates who want to screen the film. We also hope to enter the documentary in multiple film festivals to raise its profile as a way to spark discussions about childhood trauma. The film was just accepted into Atlanta’s Peachtree Village International Film Festival – we want to build on that success!

We are seeking $6,000 to fund our film promotion project. You can support our campaign at

Glen’s Village was co-produced by documentary filmmaker Dorian Geiger with journalist Paul Jablow as part of a yearlong reporting project on trauma and its role in schools.

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