Hope students in Clinton film
Hope students in Clinton film
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – A documentary video produced for the National Parks Service recounting the life and connection of President Bill Clinton to Hope will feature 14 students from the Hope Public Schools.

“The interpretive video is intended to provide an inspirational overview of President William Jefferson Clinton’s formative years in Hope, Arkansas and explore how the experiences of those years helped shape the man he became,” an RBH Multimedia Inc. summary states.

The video will be a centerpiece of the welcoming exhibit at the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site on Hervey Street in Hope, according to Site Superintendent Tarona Armstrong.

“This is one of the major projects we have worked toward,” Armstrong said.

Each NPS park and national site has its own interpretive exhibit to welcome visitors to the venue, Armstrong said. She said the project was begun in 2015, and is intended to help visitors better understand the role of the NPS in managing the site, as well as the importance of the site in the nation’s and Hope’s history.

Students from Clinton Primary School and the Hope Academy of Public Service are featured in the video.

“Here in Hope, we like to make a connection to the youth,” Armstrong said. “They will have a snippet of a treasured piece in their back yard.”

Students from the 11 kindergarten classes at CPS were filmed under the direction of RBH Producer Nancy Haffner.

“What we want to do is make the connection to the community,” Haffner said.

Haffner interacted with kindergarteners Armand Knight, Leonardo Gorman, Parker Bass, Lyla Portillo, Kylee Brown, Lakya Cole, Evelyn Elder, Skyler Marshall, Taneria Frazier, Yaxiri Hernandez, and Justice Booker to create part of the action for the CPS segment.

She said the kindergarten segment segues into Clinton’s early years in Hope, prior to his family’s move to Hot Springs. Haffner said the kindergarteners represent the spirit of that period in Clinton’s life.

“We want to make sure that people know that it’s their story,” Haffner said.

HAPS students Mike Brown, Amber Cisneros, and Richard Ware were interviewed at the Clinton Birthplace Home to demonstrate the continuing connection between Clinton and Hope. The HAPS campus has been in a year-long partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock to develop the public service curriculum for the grades 5-9 campus. That partnership will continue through this school year with the implementation of the curriculum which has been developed, according to HAPS Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke.

Brown, Cisneros and Ware offer their perspectives on public service in the video.

“Bill Clinton grew up in this tiny town to be governor and president,” Cisneros said. “It inspires us to know that we can grow up to be anything we want.”

The students offered commentary upon service projects completed last year, including cutting shoe patterns from used denim jeans to be sewn into shoes for children in east Africa; and, participating in an upcoming Hempstead County Health Expo.

Haffner’s crew, including cameraman Edgardo Resto and sound operator/company owner Steve Brosnahan, were to remain in Arkansas through the week, concluding their filming schedule at the Clinton Presidential Library complex. Brosnahan is the owner of

The project also includes the creation of four shorter videos for distribution to local and area schools, according to Haffner.