College Week | Chicago Reader

College Week


Local documentary maker Derek Grace records an annual event at a west-side K-8 school, wherein each classroom spends a week preparing a project on a different college or university. Teachers explain that the goal is to get kids interested in higher learning at an early age so that they'll stay in school; one realizes how pressing that goal is when one interviewee notes that only 9 percent of students from America's inner cities earn a bachelor's degree. Grace also notes how gang activity on the west side inhibits the children’'s education; in two harrowing sequences, an administrator describes gang-related crimes that have taken place on school grounds.

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