How do I claim a copy of Darius Goes West?
If you are an educator with a valid, school-issued email address, then simply fill out the short form located below these frequently asked questions. Due to discussions of Darius’ mortality, this film is appropriate for grades five and up only.
After you press submit, we will review your submission. At this time, we are only able to ship the DVDs to addresses within the United States. We will send you a follow up email in a week to make sure you receive the film.
What is the ‘Know About It’ initiative?
The Darius Goes West ‘Know About It’ Program provides any educator with a free copy of the award-winning film, Darius Goes West (we only ask that you donate $3 to cover shipping). There is also a free standards-based curriculum available for teachers in all subjects.
What is Darius Goes West?
Click here to view a preview of Darius Goes West.
Accompanied by his eleven best friends, Darius Weems, a fifteen-year-old living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), leaves home for the first time in his life. The rowdy crew sets a course for California where they hope to convince MTV to customize Darius’s wheelchair on the hit show, Pimp My Ride. Along the way, they find joy, brotherhood and the knowledge that life, even when imperfect, is always worth the ride. Darius Goes West has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people of all ages all around the world.
‘Darius Goes West’ is more than a film. The continuing story of Darius, his crew, and the hundreds of thousands of supporters they have met in their travels can be experienced on this website. This site is continually updated with short videos, blog posts, and innovative initiatives that aim to affect a cure for DMD.
Why is the Darius Goes West Organization doing this?
1. To raise funds and awareness for Darius’s disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy–the #1 genetic killer of children in the world.
2. To propel the positive & empowering message of Darius Goes West as far and as wide as possible.
3. To reward educators for doing the most important job in the world!
How can DGW (a nonprofit organization) afford to give away free DVDs to educators?
The short answer is that we ask you to donate $3 to cover the cost of shipping, which allows this program to sustain. The long answer is that last spring we tried the “Free DVD for all Educators” experiment on a small scale. It went extremely well. You can read a detailed report on the results here. As you will see, the underlying discovery was that DGW inspires nearly every person it reaches to join the fight against DMD. With its consistent capacity to inspire, our path becomes clear—share the story with as many people as possible.
We have decided to target educators because the film plays very well in schools, because most of us are teachers and because today’s youth is the generation that will cure DMD!
As we continue to analyze the costs and benefits of this free DVD offer, we ask that you take us up on this offer, that you tell other teachers about this offer, and most importantly, we ask that you share this story with your students. The single best way to help is to set up a Skype session before showing your students the film.
What makes Darius Goes West an educational film?
Combining energy, young people and an important cause, ‘Darius Goes West’ has made an impact on students throughout the country. The film covers important topics like awareness of the world’s number one genetic killer of children, examples of motivated youth changing the world, tolerance, caregiving, accessibility issues and more. Darius’ biggest audience, in fact, has been middle and high schools, as well as colleges.
2008′s National Principal of the Year, Mark Wilson, even initiated a ‘Write America’ program, where students from his school and one other sent a handwritten note and free ‘Darius Goes West’ DVD to over 40k public school guidance offices in the country. Throughout 2008 and 2009, Darius and the crew also traveled to over 300 schools, and the film itself has screened at thousands of others.
To find out what other teachers think about the film, click here.
Is ‘Darius Goes West’ appropriate for all ages?
We’ve received great feedback from people of all ages regarding the film. However, since Darius has a fatal disease, and his mortality is discussed in the movie, we recommend this film to fifth grade and older.
How could I have a crew member visit my class?
Darius Weems, the main focus of ‘Darius Goes West,’ is available for video conference Q&As. Due to health reasons, he is no longer able to travel to all the schools he would like to, but we’ve found that Darius’ video presence is a successful tool for engaging with students. Other integral members of the crew are also available to visit classrooms in person, if that is the preferred method.
If you are interested in setting up a live video conference between Darius & your students, it is important that you contact us before showing the film.
For more information on having Darius or a crew member speak to your students, click here.
What are other ways I can involve my students with DGW?
One popular way many classrooms have shown their support for finding a cure for Duchenne is through the Goslabi Challenge. Conceived from one of the most beloved scenes in the film, the Goslabi Challenge is a fun way to help cure a fatal disease. Students and teachers alike eat a spoonful of the fiery green wasabi, and find sponsors for their spoon.
To date, the Goslabi Challenge has raised almost $9,000 for a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy cure. To find out more, or sign up for the Goslabi Challenge, click here.
I have more questions, how do I contact you?
We love hearing from you! You can email us at DariusGoesWest@gmail.com or call us during business hours at 706-613-7237.
Educators, if you work in a Middle School, High School or College we invite you to claim a free copy of Darius Goes West (again, we do ask that you donate $3 to cover shipping.)