Informed Democracy is a media organization founded by George Levenson in 1986 based in Santa Cruz, California. We produce and distribute educational resources in conjunction with our larger objective to create media suitable for young audiences about the natural environment and global understanding. The work of Informed Democracy is inspired by two great American heroes. One is Thomas Jefferson who said "An informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion." The other is John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, whose generous spirit originated the apple groves of America. In our media centered world, audio-visual information is the seed that blossoms into awareness, action, and ultimately social change.
 

George Levenson produced the award winning video Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes based on the classic book by Eleanor Coerr about Sadako Sasaki, a 12 year old girl from Hiroshima, Japan, who folded origami cranes after developing leukemia from radiation caused by the atom bomb at the end of World War II. He also produced the companion instructional video, How To Fold A Paper Crane. The programs are designed to help educators use the true story of Sadako to teach children about the power of one person to create change, the long term consequences of war, and the values that are cherished by all cultures. Used in schools across the country for Social studies, multi-cultural studies, history,language arts, art, environmental education. Suitable for ages 8 and up. For more information and reviews visit our SADAKO website.
   

PUMPKIN CIRCLE: The Story of A Garden. The Story of A Garden is an award-winning video and picture book, also produced by George Levenson. This project is designed to show elementary school children the miraculous cycle of nature in a backyard pumpkin patch. Pumpkin Circle is a 20 minute live action video narrated in verse by Danny Glover with original music by George Winston. The video shows the changes in the plants over the four seasons with seeds sprouting, flowers opening, bees buzzing, pumpkins growing, and jack-o-lanterns glowing. The picture book, also written in verse, is filled with dramatic color photographs and allows children to learn the story of this amazing plant at their own pace. The video and book are perfect for Fall pumpkin studies, Springtime planting, science, environmental education and language arts. Suitable for ages 4 and up. The book and video are also available in Spanish -- EL CÍRCULO DE LAS CALABAZAS: Historia de un huerto. For more information and reviews visit our PUMPKIN CIRCLE website.
   

This newly released 22 minute video (June,2003) narrated in verse by Lily Tomlin with music by George Winston, tells the story of bread from a garden of wheat to a loaf to eat. The program is for the early elementary curriculum, and its purpose is to inspire wonder and provide information about the food we eat as well as the process and the people who bring bread into the world. Whether it's buttering morning toast, pulling a sandwich out of lunchbox, or eating pizza for dinner, bread is a cornerstone of every child's diet. Yet many have never seen a field of wheat, mixed and kneaded a lump of dough, or tasted a loaf fresh out of the oven. Using live-action footage, time lapse-photography and animations, BREAD COMES TO LIFE shows the sowing, growing, reaping, threshing, milling, mixing, kneading, shaping rising, baking and breaking of bread in a garden and home setting as well as on a farm and in a large mill and a commercial bakery. Ages 4 and up. For more information visit our BREAD COMES TO LIFE website.

 

 
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