Binghamton students celebrate Rod Serling Day (with photos)

By Anna Norris
By Sam Gaddes

April 10, 2014 Updated Apr 10, 2014 at 6:12 PM EST

Binghamton, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) Mayor Rich David declared April 10 “Rod Serling Day” to celebrate the life and work of its distinguished graduate and to honor Serling’s memory.

Fifth graders learned about the TV writer and producer at an assembly in Binghamton’s Helen Foley Theatre on Thursday morning by screening student-produced short films inspired by Serling and also hearing a presentation from his family.

Anne Serling, daughter of Rod Serling and author of “As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling,” spoke to students on what this day means to her family.

"I want to say that my dad would have considered this his greatest accolade. That these kids really get the messages and they are so bright. And this is a fabulous program and I am so honored to be a part of it," said Anne.

Over the past few months, the Challenge Enrichment Program at Binghamton City School District introduced fifth grade students to "The Twilight Zone." The students came to appreciate not only the artistry of his series, but the important messages Serling expressed about freedom, civic responsibility, and tolerance.

Thanks to the Rod Serling Video Festival and the Rod Serling School of the Arts, Rod Serling Day is an opportunity for all fifth graders to learn more about Rod Serling from his family and his creative work.

The student films will be available to the public at the Rod Serling Video Festival next month.

Serling moved to Binghamton with his family in 1926, before becoming famous for his series "The Twilight Zone." Serling died in 1975 at the age of 50.