By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
A call to communities to help rebuild their schools.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series highlights the importance of volunteerism and community involvement. The positive connection between clean, updated, and safe school facilities and improved learning is also underscored. The political and economic issues pertaining to school reform are oversimplified.
Positive Role Models
The team is committed to improving schools and helping students while inspiring communities to do the same. Outstanding teachers and administrators are highlighted. Team members are often disapproving of administrators.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the students' stories indicate that they live in violent neighborhoods. Some featured communities, like Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are still recovering from the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
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Products & Purchases
The logos of local businesses and major companies like Microsoft, People Magazine, and Starter that are donating supplies, labor, and services, are clearly visible. Amusement parks like Universal Studios are sometimes featured.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series draws attention to the need for communities to be proactive in improving their local schools. It also touches on the importance of having good school facilities for children, and reasons why some American schools are deteriorating. The overall show is pretty family-friendly, but there are subtle references made to living in "tough" neighborhoods and surviving natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina. The names of companies donating time, equipment, and labor are prominently featured.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
SCHOOL PRIDE, a reality series produced by actress Cheryl Hines, features four individuals from different walks of life working together to help communities fix their schools. Designer and former Miss USA. Susie Castillo, political journalist Jacob Soboroff, comedienne and former teacher Kim Whitley, and host and team leader Tom Stroup visit schools across the country that are dilapidated, vermin infested, and/or have been ruined by years of neglect, a lack of funds, and in some specific cases, by natural disasters. For 10 days the team recruits local volunteers, raises money, and lends a hand renovating and improving the school's facilities and rebuilding school pride. Interviews with administrators and government officials like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger help answer tough questions about who and what is to blame for the problems of America's schools.
Is It Any Good?
The series is designed to inspire and motivate communities to rebuild their own schools and help teachers educate their children. It emphasizes the direct link between decent school facilities and a student's increased learning potential. It also notes that students are more motivated to stay in school when it is a safe and welcoming environment.
The series explores some of the challenges school districts face today, including the lack of government funding and ineffective supply distribution policies. But some of these conversations are so oversimplified and judgmental that they offer a false sense of what it would really take to improve the nation's educational system. Nonetheless, the show still manages to send a strong and positive message about the importance of education, and the power people have to make a difference.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the impressions this show leaves with you. Do you think the show is portraying facts about American schools factually? Is there some exaggeration or stereotyping going on in the show? What is left out of this show about problem schools?
Talk about schools. Why do some schools have great facilities and lots of supplies while others don't have any of these things? What kinds of things can your community do to help schools in need in your area? Kids: Are there things in your own school that you would like to improve? If so, what kinds of things can you do to improve them? How can you get others involved to help?
- Premiere date: October 15, 2010
- Cast: Jacob Soboroff, Kim Whitley, Tom Stroup
- Network: NBC
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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