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Teacher Janet Mino Joins Best Kept Secret Filmmakers Samantha Buck and Danielle DiGiacomo for Live Chat

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Teacher Janet Mino (left), and filmmaker Samantha Buck (right).

Passionate teacher Janet Mino and representatives from families featured in Best Kept Secret will join filmmakers Samantha Buck and Danielle DiGiacomo for a live chat with viewers on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, from 7-8:30 PM ET (4-5:30 PM PT). They will be taking your questions about students with autism “aging out” of the school system and the experience of making the documentary.

At a public school in Newark, N.J., the staff answers the phone by saying, “You’ve reached John F. Kennedy High School, Newark’s best-kept secret.” JFK provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs. In Best Kept Secret, Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission. She races against the clock as graduation approaches for her severely autistic minority students. Once they graduate and leave the security of this nurturing place, their options for living independently will be few. Mino must help them find the means to support themselves before they “age out” of the system.

Ask the subjects and filmmakers questions by posting your comments below.

Here is an overview of the event:

When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013, from 7-8:30 PM ET (4-5:30 PM PT). If you can’t make it, you can send in your questions ahead of time by writing a comment below.

Who: Teacher Janet Mino, representatives from families featured in the film and filmmakers Samantha Buck and Danielle DiGiacomo will attend.

How: To join, visit the chat on the Best Kept Secret companion website or POV’s Facebook page. To view an archived transcript of the conversation, visit the Best Kept Secret companion website after September 26, 2013.

On September 23, 2013 at 10 PM, POV will present the national broadcast premiere of Best Kept Secret on PBS (Check local listings). The film will be available for streaming on the POV website from September 4 to October 7, 2013.

For updates on the 2013 season of POV, subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Bernice Greenberg

    What happened to the boys featured in the video? It was an inspiring experience due to an inspired teacher and sensitive filmmakers.

  • Maureen

    I have an autistic daughter who is 29. The system for developmentally disabled and autistic adults is much more supportive in California. Janet Mino is an extraordinary teacher. Her frustration with the inadequacy of the adult programs for autistic people is understandable. It’s not perfect here, but there is 200% more support for adults with autism. Day programs exist with work options, training, and activities depending on individuals interests & skills. And there is always transportation. This program brought tears to my eyes.

  • Mark Deshong

    I shared this on my facebook. I’m up watching it now. I have a brother and sister who are twins and Mentally challanged. My sister is more capable than our brother on being independent. The school my brother and sister go to, has programs like Janet wants for her Young men. I REALLY APPRECIATE, The time and effort Janet Mino puts into helping these young men. She really cares, she is working one on one with all of them and she isint afraid to speak her mind on how she feels. Much love to you Janet, god sent you here for this purpose I believe, you are wonderful with ll your young men.Janet, you are only one person and you can only do so much. Maybe other schools for mentally challenge and Autistic kids and adults will see this program and push for more. As well the parents and siblings of these young people.