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(Video by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)


CMA High School students and volunteers wrap-up new school makeover

Communication and Media Arts High School’s reality TV makeover to include district’s first counseling suite

By Karen Hudson Samuels/Tell Us

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) - The building makeover of Detroit’s Communication and Media Arts High School was revealed Friday morning at a ribbon cutting ceremony, filmed as part of the new NBC reality show “School Pride", that will air this fall.

Movie cameras were rolling as CMS students piled out of school buses which stopped just short of the Hollywood type set and ran toward a huge  two story curtain, awaiting the 'Big Reveal'. On hand were “School Pride” celebrity hosts Kym Whitley and Jacob Soboroff, who said they were impressed by the welcome and enthusiasm of the Detroit community, a, message they plan to carry with them.

The week long makeover project came with the help of community volunteers along with $1 million in donations made by over twenty Detroit area businesses and a few major sponsors including, Statewide Disaster Restoration, GM-On Star and Home Depot. The generous donations went toward the purchase of two new boilers, four rooftop air-conditioning units, skilled craftsmen and materials ranging from paint to concrete.

CMS students cheered during the final taping segment, 'The Big Reveal'. This all part of the new NBC reality show “School Pride", that will air this fall. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)

Neighborhood residents living across the street from the 52 year old CMA building were pleased to see a positive story and development for the city. The school was saved from closure in June resulting from pleas of parents and the timely involvement of “School Pride” which seeks out aging schools for a makeover and a new lease on life.

When students at Communication and Media Arts High School return to classes this fall, they will have access to the district’s first College Counseling Suite, a room that will offer services to help them research, communicate with and gain acceptance to colleges.

“I saw this concept at work earlier this year when I visited some of the highest-performing schools in the state, and I am proud to say that every single DPS high school will be getting one of these,” said DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. “The district’s five-year Academic Plan aims to ensure that every DPS graduate is prepared for college by 2015, and the College Counseling Suites take that plan one step further by ensuring every student has the necessary tools to get into the college of their choice.”

“School Pride” hosts Jacob Soboroff, Tom Stroup, Susie Castillo, Kym Whitley and executive producers Denise Cramsey ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "True Beauty") and “Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") were all on hand for the ribbon cutting. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)

Cheryl Hines explained to Tell Us Detroit, that she had always supported Arts in the school but one day while driving through a Compton, California neighborhood, she felt an inspiration to do more. Hines said she contacted an elementary school in Compton and asked “How’s your school”. From that conversation, the seeds of “School Pride were born.

The series will air in September on NBC-TV. The story of Detroit’s CMA high school is one of seven “School Pride” episodes.