NBC's School Pride Premieres with Enterprise Middle School in Compton, California
The premiere episode of School Pride features Enterprise Middle School in Compton, California, and in true NBC fashion, it begins similar to the NBC hit The Biggest Loser. With dramatic photos, voice overs, chilling scenes of failure, and an eventual comment about how America is undergoing an epidemic of inadequate educational institutions and programs, viewers needed to grab tissues from the opening scene.
It was heartbreaking to see children and teachers with so much passion for scholastic success, but no means to assist them in their endeavors.
For every episode, Former Miss USA and Designer Susie Castillo, Comedian Kim Whitley, Political Journalist Jacob Soboroff and Team Leader and Voice Over Host Tom Stroup, come together to spearhead the restoration projects.
At Enterprise, the home of the eagles, viewers were surprised to find there are no doors, soap or tissue in the boys’ bathrooms, graffiti on the walls, broken pencil sharpeners, limited supplies (or so teachers think), gopher holes in the track field (one student broke her ankle in one), mice, roaches, termites, leaking roofs, broken furniture, and much more.
Angel, an 8th grade student and Vice President of the Student Council, described the students of Enterprise as “…not soaring eagles, but little chicks in a nest.”
Stroup said his main goal was to fill every work order that the county had on record for Enterprise submitted by the school’s teachers and principal.
During the process, the workers found a hidden basement with tons of brand new government issued supplies, specifically the ones teachers have been asking for for years, angering Stroup and Whitley. Stroup then went to confront the school’s principal and he said that he hoarded the supplies for fear that they would run out. That principal has since been “replaced”.
Soborott met with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the governor expressed his appreciation for the project.
Stroup’s first step for the renovation was to “hire” (or convince the company to volunteer for the project) a local construction company, Encore, the school recommended to be the general contractor for the project. The team of NBC then enlisted tons of community volunteers, gave them each a shirt, and then separated them into painters, cleaners, carpenters, etc. They also accept monetary donations to cover the cost of the renovation from community members.
Over 10 days, volunteers fixed up classrooms, the basketball, football and track field, the entrance, bathrooms, the gym, the broken electronic pencil sharpeners and the school’s leaky roofs. The volunteers also installed new flooring, new student lockers, a new score board, and counter tops. The students got to pick which colors they wanted to paid the walls.
Unlike other NBC shows, the product placement and endorsements were very tactful, minimal and were barely noticeable in the background. Volunteers created a new science and technology center with safe storage for chemicals and supplies, brought in touch screen computers, laptops and microscopes donated by Microsoft. People Magazine also donated furniture, books and magazines to create a reading room and the athletics program received its makeover courtesy of Starter.
Volunteers were thanked for their hard work by a day at Universal Studios.
Governor Schwarzenegger also was at the revealing of the new school and said he was there to “pump up” the students to work hard. And if they did? He promised “I’ll be back.”