Orfalea Foundation Sponsors Screening for 2000 in Santa Barbara

Business leader author and visionary philanthropist Paul Orfalea introduced Race to Nowhere to an audience of 2000 in Santa Barbara last week. The founder of Kinko’s, who has lectured and written extensively on the subject of learning differences, criticized the current practice of having kids develop the skills necessary for passing standardized achievement tests rather than investing in more comprehensive, innovative methods of education. “Today we are teaching kids to rely on memorizing facts,” he said, “as if we are going to out-memorize the Chinese, the Indians and Indonesians—that’s not going to happen.” One of the country’s best known entrepreneurs, Mr. Orfalea underscored his faith in America and his hope for us finding the right way to educate kids. “We out-think everybody; we have the most imaginative and innovative society in the world,” he said. He also mentioned his appreciation of how Race to Nowhere points to the problem of sleep deprivation among today’s over-scheduled students, emphasizing the importance of sleep for children’s development and the learning process. “What you learn in the day is imprinted at night; depriving children of sleep is depriving them of the ability to process and retain and use knowledge.” Paul Orfalea is known for his well-crafted phrases, such as “the art of life is to rediscover who you are evey day.” Preparing to raise the curtain on the evening’s screening of Race to Nowhere, he quoted his favorite line from the film: “we could be the first generation that could be sued by our children for robbing them of their childhood.” There was a panel discussion following the film moderated by Natalie Orfalea. Panelists included UCSB Direcotr of Admissions, Christine Van Gieson, Director, Vicki Abeles, Dr. Madeline Levine and a local mother and daughter.