By Cathy Locke
A screening of the youth documentary "Heart of Stone" will be held at Sacramento's Guild Theater on Oct. 27 as part of an effort to reduce gang violence and improve academic success among students at area high schools.
The screening is sponsored by the Youth Development Network, a regional nonprofit organization that provides training and networking support to agencies that work with and advocate for youth.
"This story based on a high school principal in New Jersey who engages the black and Jewish alumni of his school to fight back against an influx of gangs on the campus has important life lessons for Sacramento about the power of using gang leaders to become problem-solvers in our high schools," Adrian Ruiz, Youth Development Network co-director, said in a news release.
"Heart of Stone" documents the efforts of high school principal Ron Stone to engage students and the community to help turn around a school that was overcome by violence.
The film has won numerous honors including the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, the Jury Award for Best Documentary at Cinequest Film Festival and the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award.
The Oct. 27 screening will begin at 6 p.m. at the Guild Theater, 2828 35th St., Sacramento, with registration at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for youth. Advance online registration is available at http://ydnetwork.org/Registration. A limited number of free tickets are available for youths upon request.
The film's director, Beth Toni Kruvant, will answer questions from the audience following the screening. A panel including Mary Struhs, Healthy Start coordinator at Hiram Johnson High School, and Capt. Daniel Hahn of the Sacramento Police Department, as well as student and alumni representatives from area schools will discuss education and gang issues.
For more information, call the Youth Development Network office at (916) 228-2227.
Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.