‘School Pride’ makeover of CMA High School begins Sunday

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-8401

The transformation of Communication and Media Arts High School will begin Sunday August 1 as part of the new reality TV show “School Pride,” from executive producers Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Denise Cramsey (“Extreme Makeover Home Edition”).

The one-week project will utilize volunteers to spruce up the aging school building and create a 21st Century learning environment for students.

Residents of Detroit and surrounding communities responded immediately to Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb’s recent call for volunteers.

“We’ve had over 1,500 volunteers sign up to work on this project – so many that our website actually shut down,” said Executive Producer Denise Cramsey. “No other city we’ve been to has had this many volunteers sign up before we even started building.

“It is a true sign of the importance of this school to its community, and of the community’s commitment to making things right for the students,” Cramsey said.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Bobb said. “There are so many volunteers that the district is actively seeking projects at nearby schools for which principals have identified volunteer needs.”

DPS has set up an alternate sign-in system for people who still want to volunteer. Those individuals or groups will be diverted to other DPS school projects on their designated days. Volunteers must sign up at least two days prior to their desired volunteer day in order to be assigned to another project or school.

Volunteers may sign up at www.detroitk12.org/schoolpride/

Media opportunities:
1 p.m. Sunday August 1
Near the Volunteer Sign-In Tent
DPS Alumni Day
DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb will make a special announcement about the School Pride project. State Senator Irma Clark-Coleman, City Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins, Detroit Federation of Teachers Executive Vice President Mark O’Keefe, and CMA students Torrie Livingston and Kavon Lewis will also attend.

10:30 a.m. Monday, August 2
Detroit Public School League-Detroit Sports Heroes Day
Detroit Public School League-Detroit Sports Heroes Day is in recognition of the Motor City’s great sports tradition from high schools to colleges to pros. Among the sports luminaries lending their presence and support to the “School Pride” activities are Tigers’ legend Willie Horton from Northwestern High; Pistons’ broadcast analyst Greg Kelser, the former Michigan State University and NBA standout from Henry Ford High; Ron Simpkins, former University of Michigan All-America and NFL linebacker from Western High; and former Lions’ stalwarts Lomas Brown and Herman Moore.

Tuesday Aug. 3 – Community Day
For churches, non-profit organizations, fraternities, sororities, community groups of all sizes and interests, this is the day to come together to help transform this school’s building.

Wednesday Aug. 4 – Teachers and Students Day

The entire DPS family is encouraged to volunteer on this day. Teachers, students, staff, alumni, Detroit residents and more are welcome.

Thursday Aug. 5 – Corporate Day
This is the chance for the business community to show their Detroit Pride while supporting a school that needs help. Companies that will be sending volunteers include Compuware, Office Depot and Sherwin-Williams.

Friday Aug. 6 – Reveal Day
Join the CMA family as we see the results of the community’s efforts. The reveal will take place at approximately 8 a.m.

Saturday Aug. 7
The final day will include the cleanup of the work site.

About School Pride
The all-new reality series, which premieres Friday, September 24 at 8 p.m. on NBC, empowers communities to take charge and improve their broken schools, motivating students, parents and teachers to renovate their neighborhood educational institutions. Making use of local businesses and skilled local labor, the community will make over classrooms, public spaces, athletic facilities and art and music halls. The changes at the schools will truly be a community effort, as a large number of volunteers from the local area are recruited to work on the transformation effort.
While a team of experts will lend expertise in the makeover process, it’s ultimately up to the students, teachers and community to execute the restoration. “School Pride” cameras will document their progress, revealing multiple surprises along the way and, ultimately, concluding with the unveiling of a brand-new, completely transformed school. Inspired by a successful revitalization effort in Compton, California, “School Pride” encourages students to take more pride and improve academic achievement through the revitalization of their school and community.
The “School Pride” crew and hosts will document the makeover Aug. 1-7, 2010, and the public is encouraged to sign up to participate or donate goods and/or services to the effort. Volunteers will be needed for tasks ranging from painting and serving food to skilled trades such as electrical and plumbing work.
“School Pride” is produced by Horizon Alternative Television.

About CMA
Inside a building that once housed a Catholic school, the students of Communication and Media Arts High School are proving that students in Detroit Public Schools can succeed against all odds. Nearly every member of the class of 2010 is bound for college. This excellent small school, which boasts a 97 percent graduation rate, was originally slated to close this summer due to lack of funds to repair the building. It was saved after being selected to receive significant repairs as part of “School Pride.”

Follow “School Pride” on Twitter @NBCSchoolPride (http://twitter.com/NBCSchoolPride)
Become a fan of the show on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/NBCSchoolPride?ref=ts
To view the trailer, visit www.nbc.com/school-pride/video/school-pride-full-length-trailer/1228317/
To learn more, visit: www.detroitk12.org/school_pride

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