200 St. Landry Parish students seeing Black Panther for free


St. Landry Parish elementary students are getting the chance to see the movie “Black Panther” in theaters for free.

All of it is possible, thanks to the generosity of several community leaders.

“Just felt compelled to ensure kids who otherwise may not get the opportunity to see the movie would get that chance,” says organizer Dustin Cravins.

Cravins says he saw the movie a couple of weeks ago and felt inspired.

He immediately reached out to some musician friends who were on the same wavelength.

“I knew it was only a matter of time before Dustin would call me because I was thinking the same thing and he called and I jumped right on it and said this is a wonderful idea,” says musician Chris Ardoin.

Between Cravins, multiple musicians, and local political leaders, a total of $1,800 was contributed to the day.

The money divided with $1,000 going toward tickets and $800 for students from Grolee, Sunset, Washington, and North Elementary to have a drink and a snack.

Their hope is that the lessons learned translate from on screen to real life.

“To see themselves you know in the movie and realize that there are greater things,” says Ardoin.

The positive influence of the movie is one thing but just as important is that these students will have a day and an experience where money is not a worry.

“I really think because we get to go and don’t have to worry about having the money to go they can enjoy it more and everyone gets to participate so no one is left out,” says Sunset Elementary teacher Hope Travis.

The students say the buzz is in the air to see the movie but their gratitude to their community is just as evident.

“If we wouldn’t have that opportunity, we wouldn’t have knowledge of African American culture so it’s very nice,” says student Jacelyn Vaughan.

The students will make the trip to see the movie on Saturday.

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