Hallmark Channel, Cable In The Classroom Partner On Civil Rights Lesson

Hallmark Channel and Walden Media will partner with Cable in the Classroom (CIC) to create a customized school curriculum revolving around the Civil Rights Movement featuring Hallmark Channel’s original movie The Watsons Go To Birmingham.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham Teacher Guide, set to launch this fall, will offer parents and educators a turnkey lesson plan, streaming video resources, and archival photographs designed for students grades 4-12 that give fresh context to the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, according to network officials. The Watsons Go To Birmingham Teacher Guide will be offered free of charge on a dedicated Hallmark Channel microsite and the Walden Media website.

Hallmark’s The Watsons Go To Birmingham -- which stars Anika Noni Rose (The Good Wife, The Princess and the Frog) and David Alan Grier (In Living Color), and chronicles the experiences of an African-American family traveling from Flint, Mich. to racially-charged Birmingham, Ala. in the summer of 1963 -- is set for a Sept. 20 premiere on the network.

“We are incredibly proud of this movie and honored to work with Cable in the Classroom to extend (the movie’s) educational value beyond our viewers’ living rooms and into classrooms, where we hope it will capture the minds and spirits of students nationwide,” Bill Abbott, and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, said in a release.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.