Paper Tigers celebrates Education Week with 100 screenings across the U.S.

(l to r) Kelsey, Pam Cantor, David Bornstein _______________
(l to r) Kelsey, Pam Cantor, David Bornstein _________________________

In a kickoff event for Education Week, several hundred people crowded into the fabulous Tishman Auditorium at the New School in New York City on Monday night to watch Paper Tigers, a documentary that follows six students during a school year at Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, the first trauma-informed high school in the U.S.

Nearly 100 schools, colleges, universities and communities across the country are screening Paper Tigers this week.

Immediately following the New York screening, Paper Tigers director James Redford was joined in a live streamed panel discussion by Turnaround for Children founder Dr. Pamela Cantor, New York Times columnist and Solutions Journalism Network co-founder David Bornstein, and Dr. Howard Steele, professor of psychology at the New School.

A special guest joined them — Kelsey, one of the students featured in the film. She was a sophomore when the film was made. She’s now a senior, is attending community college and working part-time. She had a 4.0 grade average in her junior year.

The reason she stayed at Lincoln High School, she said, is because “I don’t feel judged there. I feel like I can be myself there. That’s still the biggest part about Lincoln. There’s such a level of acceptance, such a family atmosphere. You have people you can talk to all the time.”

(l to r) Howard Steele, Jamie Redford, Kelsey _______________________
(l to r) Howard Steele, Jamie Redford, Kelsey ______________________________

Steele said that the documentary shows that what Lincoln was providing, from an attachment theory perspective, was typical relationships, “relationships where affection and support and limit-setting are part of it on the part of the teachers, but also honest exchanges about difficulties that come up many times a day.”

“This is an emerging movement right now,” said Redford, “but in the three years since I first read the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (the CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study), the level of awareness that’s cropping up is extraordinary….What you do see (at Lincoln) is the true value of love and compassion. The extraordinary stats that come out of Lincoln — I mean if other schools could shadow and vaguely mimic the success at Lincoln, they would be making a huge leap forward. You don’t have to be a superhero to be trauma-informed. You just have to have a little bit of heart and stay cool.”

Cantor, whose organization is helping schools in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., become trauma-informed, echoed that sentiment: “We’ve seen it across all of our schools — if a teacher sees relatively quickly how something you teach them is actually going to make their job much much easier, their job that is causing them stress, their job that is making them feel like a failure, and their job to see kids successfully engaged in learning, they grab it, they want that.”

The list of most the screenings this week is below.


Monday, November 16th Screenings: 

Ann Arbor, MI – University of Michigan – SSW

Appleton, WI – Fox Valley Technical College – Jane Roisum

Austin, TX – Communities in Schools of Central Texas

Bangor, ME – University of Maine at Augusta

Belfair, WA – North Mason School District

Belfast, ME – Broadreach Family & Community Services

Bloomington, IN – City Hall Council Chambers

Bremerton, WA – Olympic Educational Service District

Cambridge, MA –  Harvard Graduate School

Cedar Rapids, IA – Iowa BIG

Charlottesville, VA – Center for Learning and Growth

Culpeper, VA – Family Preservation Services, Inc

Culpeper, VA – Greater Piedmont Trauma Informed Community Network

Dayton, WA – Coalition for Youth and Families

Delray Beach, FL – Achievement Centers for Children and Families

Farmington, ME – Franklin County Children’s Task Force

Fond du Lac, WI – Fond du Lac School District

Gainesville, FL – Univ. of Florida – Social Justice

Geneva, NY – Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes, Inc.

Grand Rapids, MI – Grand Valley State University

Hamden, CT – Cedarhurst School

Harrisburg, PA – Midtown Cinemas

Hudson, WI – Hudson School District – Anthony Mayer

Kent, WA – Kent School District

Lake Forest Park, WA – Shoreline School District

New York, NY –  The New School

North Wilkesboro, NC – Wilkes County Schools

Oneonta, NY – SUNY Oneonta

Prairie du Sac, WI – Sauk Prairie High School

Redmond, OR – Redmond High School

Salt Lake City, UT – University of Utah College of Education – Education, Culture & Society

San Diego, CA – San Diego Unified School District

Seattle, WA – Bezos Family Foundation

Stanwood, WA – Stanwood -Camano School District

Stillwater, MN – Saint Paul Public Schools

Tallahassee, FL – Leon County Schools

Wallingford, CT – Lyman High School

West Bend, WI – West Bend High Schools

Whitewater, WI – UW Whitewater

Williston, VT – Howard Center

Winona, MN – Family & Children’s Center/Winona State University

Tuesday, November 17th Screenings

Bethel, AK – Univ. of Alaska

Dubuque, IA – Hillcrest Family Services

Helena, MT – MT Department of Corrections

Marysville, WA – Victim Support Services

Mobile, AL – Drug Education Council

Newville, PA – Big Spring High School


Wednesday, November 18th Screenings

Bozeman, MT – Kidslink

Kelso, WA – Kelso School District

Milton, WI – School District of Milton

Prescott, WA – Vista Hermosa Community Programs

Rochester, MN – Rochester Alternative Learning Center

Vermillion, KS – Vermillion School

Waterville, ME – Maine Film Center

Thursday, November 19th Screenings

Bemidji, MN – The Idea Circle

Carlsbad, CA – North County Academy

Minnesota, MN – PCA Minnesota

Newburyport, MA – Shore Educational Collaborative

New Hope, MN – Intermediate District 287

Oakdale, CT – Montville Schools

Richmond, VA – Greater Richmond SCAN

Seattle, WA – NorthWest PBIS

Vancouver, WA – Evergreen Public Schools

West Allis, WI – West Allis- West Milwaukee School District

Friday, November 20th Screenings

Rohnart Park, CA – Tribal TANF of Sonoma Marin

Prescott, WA – Vista Hermosa Community Programs


  1. Jane, I see that the screenings for Paper Tigers has already come and gone. I am wondering if there is a way to see the movie now?
    Melissa C.


  2. Hi, Karimah,      Just a quick note so that you will have the ACEs link to Dr. Nadine Burke, our HPBayview outstanding pediatric physician.  Looking forward to seeing you as always tomorrow.  Best,  Toni


  3. Hi Jane,
    Can you help me get a screening here in Butte County? The link I had to a preview copy has expired and I haven’t heard back from the producers about getting a new one. I wasn’t able to get enough interest and help to make it happen before, but after our meeting last month I know we can do it!
    Bruce Baldwin


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