The Project

DAY 1 is T-SHIRT DAY.  All teachers, administrators and staff wear t-shirts from their favorite colleges.

DAY 4 is HOMECOMING DAY.  Students compete against teachers in a fierce game of basketball.  

DAY 2 is ALUMNI  DAY.  College grads and current college students tell students about their experiences in college.

DAY 3 is STOMP THE YARD. Students learn about the historic sororities and fraternities on college campuses.

College Week Layout

What happens when an elementary school in a low-income community with high school dropout rates exceeding 50 percent hosts an annual program encouraging college attendance?  What happens when a principal who grew up in that very community refuses to let his students become the damaging stereotypes that could easily define and ruin their lives?  You end up with College Week, a story about passion, struggle, self-determination and hope which is transforming an entire community.

Every year Spencer Technology Academy Elementary School, located in the Austin community on the west side of Chicago hosts an annual event called College Week. An insightful and innovative principal, committed teachers, and active parents work together to instill the importance of higher education into the minds of the entire student body.  All grade levels from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade (over 900 students) spend at least one week preparing their homerooms as representations of college campuses.  Students participate in lessons that focus on general information about college and specific information about their assigned institution (history, majors, dorm life, student organizations, etc.).  A competition is waged on the final day of College Week and homerooms are critiqued and judged by adults from various professions.  Winning the classroom competition is an honor sought passionately by teachers and students alike.  College Week culminates with an energetic parade that is attended by the entire student body and the surrounding community.

College Week chronicles the stories of three eighth grade students and their respective homeroom teachers as they prepare for and compete in the Seventh Annual College Week event. It investigates the challenges and pressure they face as work together to build brighter futures.  The stakes are very high for teacher and even higher for the students.  


DAY 5 is the BIG DAY.  Rooms are judged and critiqued.  Winners are announced.

The day culminates with a parade around the neighborhood.

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Grace Media Group

155 N. Harbor Dr. #1505

Chicago, IL 60601