Screening of ‘If You Build It’ at Elkin Library

Staff Report

The Yadkin Valley Community School (YVCS) is hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary “If You Build It.” The film will be shown at the Elkin Public Library on Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

This film is from the director of WORDPLAY and I.O.U.S.A. It is a look at a radically innovative approach to education. “If You Build It” follows designer/activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives.

Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what’s possible. Directed by Patrick Creadon, the film offers a compelling and hopeful vision for a new kind of classroom in which students learn the tools to design their own futures.

“When I first saw this documentary,” said Kimberly Seipel-Parks, YVCS school administrator, “I felt a very strong connection to the students and the class teachers. I love the way this couple had an idea to use hands-on learning, design and the iterative process to teach a very out-of-the box class. It reminded me so much of our philosophy here at YVCS, and I couldn’t wait to share the film with others. I hope this will start a discussion about what education can be.”

The screening of this film was made possible by a donation from Sela Building Corporation, a construction company based in Elkin.

The mission of the Yadkin Valley Community School is: To develop a unique educational environment that fosters the whole child by encouraging academic excellence, joy of learning, creativity, curiosity, mindfulness, self-empowerment and community awareness. For more information about scheduling a tour, applying or purchasing raffle tickets, visit

Yadkin Valley Community School hosts documentary on education

Staff Report