Students proving they care about public education

By Kristen Miranda - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Simply watching a movie could bring thousands of dollars to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  More important however, say teachers and students, it will bring awareness.

The movie is called "Waiting For Superman".  It's a documentary that puts into perspective the crisis in public schools.  It debuted in major cities on Friday, September 24, and will likely be coming to cities like Charlotte in the next several weeks.

Just watching the trailer has inspired one group of students  to take action.

The students at Renaissance at Olympic, a high school with several smaller schools inside, have started a movement to become active participants in their schools and their educations.  They realize their school is in better shape than many.

"I think we want to make Charlotte the number one city in the nation that's pledging to support public education," said Mike Realon, the Career Development Coordinator at Olympic.

There is also an online component to the movie.  Producers are asking people in cities across the country to pledge they'll see the movie, with the hope they'll be inspired to do more of what's already happening at Olympic.

Simply going to the website and registering a pledge can funnel money to the project or the school of the donor's choice.

Already Charlotte is in the top ten and climbing.

"The students here are so dedicated to what we do," said student Gilbert Medina.

"Everyone's helping to get the word out to family and friends and through Facebook.  Everyone is helping," added another student, Stephanie Castro.

Their teacher, Alan Vitale, says strangers helping in this mission proves something to his students.

"I think what they might not realize is how it means to the kids - its like somebody is saying is we are impressed by what you've done," Vitale said.

If you'd like to pledge to see "Waiting for Superman" when it comes to Charlotte, click here.