A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
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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?
For kids who love creating change
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