“If we provide children with the resources and support they need, they will succeed,” Blankstein said.
RICHMOND, VA, November 02, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — ‘Petersburg Rising’, a new documentary by award-winning author, Alan M. Blankstein, takes us to the community of Petersburg, Virginia, a place once named an “All American City” for its quality of life, to a city known for its declining economy and racial tensions. The city was millions of dollars in debt. Schools were lacking accreditation. Teachers, parents and community stakeholders could not agree on priorities and the administration was about to default on teacher paychecks. Yet somehow, Dr. Marcus Newsome, a recently retired trailblazer Superintendent of Schools, was convinced to come back and roll up his sleeves one more time and turn Petersburg schools around.
Newsome reached out to his friend Alan Blankstein, award-winning author and educational leader to help tell the story. They engaged stakeholders from across the district to support concepts, bringing teachers, administrators, parents, and community leaders together to focus on curriculum that addressed the whole child – from their challenges at home, their motivations and how they learn. He helped everyone see where they fit, and how vital their input was to the success of each student. There are no “throw away kids.”
‘Petersburg Rising’ captures Newsome’s successful formula: financial stability, engaging curriculum, civics and citizenship engagement being re-imagined and fine-tuned to enhance the student learning experience. This work, along with efforts of students working together to write a grant, bolstered the governor’s efforts to recruit more qualified teachers.
Today, Petersburg schools are accredited. Graduation rates are rising, and students are beginning to step into their roles as tomorrow’s leaders. ‘Petersburg Rising’ is sparking an overdue conversation of how we can make a difference in our schools, and our children’s education. Whether in large cities or small communities throughout our country. Just ask us how Petersburg Rising can make a difference in your community.
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