The Teacher Who Rallied Her Students & Won An Oscar—Melissa Berton

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By Linda Grasso and The Golden State Company. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Menstruation is a shameful experience for girls in many parts of the world. When Oakwood School high school English teacher Melissa Berton and her students discovered (through a program called Girls Learn International) that girls in some villages in India have to miss school when they have their periods, they set out to do something about it. They raised money to buy a sanitary pad-making machine for one village and then traveled there to teach the locals how to use it—all of which they documented in the short film, Period. End of Sentence. In January 2019, much to their surprise, that 26-minute endeavor won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject and Melissa, her students, and director, 25-year-old Rayka Zehtabchi, took to the stage to accept the award. In this show, Melissa recounts with Linda that life-changing experience and how the effort to help other girls—as well as end the taboo surrounding menstruation—continue with the non-profit The Pad Project.

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