St. Anne's-Belfield senior creates verified viewer program

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A senior at St. Anne's-Belfield has taken it upon himself to launch a new school program, which is called the verified viewer program.

During Sam Gruber's first three years at St. Anne's-Belfield, he was part of the Renaissance Reader program, for which faculty will sponsor books the students can read and then have a discussion about. Verified Viewer is the same idea, just with film.

Gruber says he started by emailing the faculty, and asking what movies they would like to sponsor.

"There was a huge faculty-sponsored list made and then I sent it out to students as well," he said.

The program's faculty adviser had been hoping something like this would happen at the school.

"One of the best parts about my job is like, when you see students [being] intellectually curious, and they want to talk about things," said Jordan Taylor, a teacher. "I think that's really where we're trying to meet students to say 'hey not everybody has time to read a book, they have tons of different commitments,' but finding two hours to watch something and talk about it is really what we're about."

This program has been in the making for a while, and both Taylor and Gruber are happy about where the program is currently.

"A lot of people have actually reached out, with similar ideas and ways to make the program better, so I'm trying to spread it as much as possible," said Gruber.

Both also hope the program continues to flourish.

"I hope the program does well, I hope people take to it next year when I [graduate]," added Gruber.

Taylor added, "I would hope for an upper school of 400 Verified Viewers and Renaissance Readers, that sounds like a utopia to me."

The films that are being viewed are not just modern ones. All films are in play when it comes to the program, and Gruber and Taylor say each film brings its own unique discussion.

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