550: Three Miles - This American Life, NPRListen to it at: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/550/three-miles#play
There’s a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some of the public school kids just can’t get over the divide. We hear what happens when you get to see the other side and it looks a lot better.
Every teacher in inner city schools has had some kids over the years who seemed very special -- super smart with enormous potential. Find out what happens to three of these students. It is like a rocket trying to escape the earth but getting pulled back by the gravity of poverty and low self-esteem. Even when they beat the odds and make it to college, their battles often just begin. I had some like this and I was in touch for a number of years, even attending some of their weddings.
Chana Joffe-Walt, did an amazing job, interviewing teachers from both schools and trying to track one of the students 10 years after they left school.
See what the impact of poverty and low self-esteem have on even the sharpest kids --- but beyond that, this production, as so many of TAL programs are -- is presented like a mystery and will have you handing on the edge of your seat. [Note- one of the principals in the program has set up a college go-fund-me campaign as per this note from the show's producers
Here are program notes from the website: