Spike Lee Goes Back to School - Higher Education

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Spike Lee Goes Back to School

by Staff

Spike Lee Goes Back to School

Last August, Spike Lee’s HBO documentary on Hurricane Katrina brought home painful scenes of human suffering, served with a hearty helping of outrage at the federal government’s delayed reaction. Now, a group of teachers are trying to make the natural disaster, which killed approximately 1,836 people, a “teachable moment.”

With a Rockefeller Foundation grant of nearly $1 million, instructors at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City are creating a 100-page curriculum book to go with the DVD of Lee’s documentary and more online resources. The package will be called, Teaching The Levees: A Curriculum of Civic Engagement to Accompany the HBO Documentary Film Event, Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.”

Teaching The Levees will be distributed free of charge to 30,000 high school and college instructors by next August, the second anniversary of the hurricane. Not surprisingly, the educational materials, like the documentary, take plenty of shots at the Bush administration — pointing out that President George Bush flew over devastated New Orleans, but didn’t stop, and that Vice President  Dick Cheney was fly fishing as water flooded 80 percent of the city.

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