This week I am working on a set of posts related to the renovation of Enterprise Middle School, shown on the pilot episode of NBC’s School Pride. Anyone who happened to tune in on Friday, Oct. 16th saw four “community activists” ride into Compton on their white horses to awaken the community and turn a school around.
Well, it didn’t quite happen like that.
If you’ve browsed the photos on this blog you’ve seen that seeds of renewal have been sprouting up in Compton for some time now. (I’ve barely begun to tap into everything I’m aware of — and I’m just one individual.) I will leave it to the rest of the web world to debate whether NBC is exploiting communities or encouraging them. I’m not spending a whole lot of time worrying about School Pride. Many of us were painting schools here in Compton before the camera crews showed up, and we will be painting schools long after the series is gathering dust in the NBC archives.
I will say that little 60 minutes of soundbite TV didn’t even come CLOSE to showcasing all the real stars of the Enterprise makeover. Each and every day, at least 200 community volunteers gave up their workday and labored instead on the school. Students spent their spring break serving their school. Students from other schools gave their spring break to serve! On that April Saturday, 800 people came out to volunteer in order to finish off the work. It was a sight to behold.
These next several posts will spotlight some of my favorite projects done during the renovation. I had the joy of being on site every day to witness the “blood, sweat, and tears” folks from all over LA invested into the campus. Now that the show has aired, I am free to share the pictures I’ve been holding onto all this time.
First comes a general overview of the process. It’s almost impossible to imagine or describe the amount of LABOR it took to completely makeover a campus that size in one week!!! Here’s just a few of the images I captured of the process that week…
Coming next…a look at the beautiful murals painted all over the campus of Enterprise!