FEATURE: Boy’s donation leads to film screening

By Chen Chien-chih and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - Page 5

Wang Wen-sheng (王文生), a second-grade student at Neisin Elementary School in Greater Taichung, has donated his Lunar New Year red-envelope money — a total of NT$8,000 — to launch a local charity drive that will allow his schoolmates to watch an inspirational film.

His mother, Wang Mei-ching (王美卿), said it was not easy for her son to focus on learning in school because he has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, and has also been diagnosed as being hyperactive.

After experiencing trouble learning and receiving poor grades in his first-grade year, Wang’s performance started to improve during the second grade as a result of patient guidance from his homeroom teacher, Chen Li-chin (陳麗琴), and from school counselor Wang Po-ching. As a reward, his teacher gave him two tickets for the film Jumping Boy (不倒翁的奇幻旅程) by director Lin Fu-ching (林福清).

The central character in the film is Little Ka, a schoolboy who loses a leg to cancer. In the film, the boy makes a colorful invitation card to invite a famous children’s books author to come to his rural school and read stories to the students.

In the movie, the author visits the remote school and delights the kids by reading fairy tales and fantasy stories.

“After watching the movie in December last year, Wang Wen-sheng was deeply touched by the message,” his mother said, adding that her son came home and said he wanted to arrange a screening of the film at his school so that his schoolmates could watch it.

On learning that a screening would cost NT$80,000, Wang Wen-sheng did not hesitate to donate his Lunar New Year red-envelope money, and his generosity inspired his mother to ensure his wish was fulfilled.

According to the school, after learning of Wang Mei-ching’s wish, his teacher Chen donated NT$10,000 to the collection. In addition, the school’s parent’s association chairman Huang Chun-tse (黃浚澤) donated NT$10,000, while volunteer corps head Liu Mei-hsiu (劉美秀) donated NT$5,000.

Other first and second-grade students also started donation drives in their classes and chipped in with their pocket money, the school said.

Meanwhile Wang Mei-ching also made clay dolls to sell at the school’s anniversary fair.

Through all these efforts, they managed to collect the required NT$80,000.

On April 9, Jumping Boy received a long-awaited screening at the school, with three consecutive screenings so that all 366 students and staff, along with local residents, could watch the movie.

Lin said that Wang Wen-sheng is the youngest donor to a project to fund a film-screening tour of townships and municipalities nationwide.

“Even if the collection did not reach NT$80,000, I had already decided to screen it at the Neisin Elementary School no matter what,” Lin said, adding that he would return Wang Wen-sheng’s NT$8,000.

Lin added that he made the movie to inspire children.

“These days children see so much violence in TV cartoons and when playing computer games. To change this and to help cleanse the media, I spent three years filming, editing and producing the movie,” he said.

Lin added that he hopes the movie will teach children resilience to overcome life’s difficulties and encourage them to help others.

Jumping Boy has been touring the nation since July last year.