The Families Talk About... series
started in 1993 as a collaboration between Dr. James Sayre
and Rochester Area
Community Foundation. Dr. Sayre, a pediatrician, had decades
of experience working with urban families in Rochester, NY. Recognizing
that some of these families functioned extremely well despite
difficult circumstances, Dr. Sayre decided to create a series
of videos that would share the wisdom of these families with
a wide audience. He worked with the Community Foundation to obtain
funding for the series, and then collaborated with my company, Rose Films,
to produce the programs.
Dr. James Sayre with a patient.
Sayre designed the videos to focus exclusively on urban families
who were successfully raising their children, and who were articulate
about describing their parenting efforts. Each video features
four or five families. Dr. Sayre decided not to appear in any
of the programs since he felt that the families themselves are
the most effective teachers. Each video contains in-depth interviews
with the families, as well as scenes of them around their homes.
The videos focus on the simple things each family does to insure
that their children grow up emotionally strong and healthy. One
of the intended side effects of the programs is to reduce violence
in the home and on the streets by helping adults to be better
parents. The programs are designed for discussion groups at parenting
classes, community centers, churches, schools etc.
Families are selected for inclusion in the videos from various
community groups, schools, doctors offices and individuals in
the community. Each family is first interviewed without a camera
present to see if they are interested in participating in the
program, and if they would be a good fit with the programs themes.
For each program, approximately 8 families are interviewed, with
4 or 5 appearing in the final video. Because the families all
live in economically deprived areas, there have been many families
who have dropped out of the videos because circumstances have
simply become impossible for them to continue. An extreme (and
very sad) example of this was when one father in the program
was murdered by a neighbor; in another case a child died because
of lack of appropriate medical care.
Dr. Sayre passed away in 2002, but his vision for the programs
has clearly been a success. Sales of the Families Talk About
videos have funded the production of two new programs. We decided
to produce Encouraging
Positive Activities and Single
Parenting because it was clear that these issues are
so important to todays families. We learned, for example, that
to many parents activities means sports, so we were interested
in broadening that view. The new video describes many activities
parents can encourage that are not sports-related.
As before, the new videos feature real families speaking straight
to the viewer. This is a true testament to Dr. Sayre's idea that
successful families could be the best teachers and role models
for other families. It has been a privilege for us at Rose Films
to be a part of the Families Talk About... series.
David Rose is the owner of Rose Films, Inc, and producer of the
Families Talk About... video series.
Reprinted from Leader
Copyright 2003 by Active Parenting Publishers, Inc.