Education

‘Think It Up’ Education Special Aims to Showcase Larger Initiative

By Mark Walsh — September 10, 2015 2 min read

Producers of a one-hour education special airing on four broadcast TV networks Friday night hope the initiative stemming from the project has legs.

The “Think It Up” special airs at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times (7 p.m. Central) on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.

The special, backed by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, had a slate of stars attached when it was announced in August, including Kristen Bell, Stephen Colbert, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The celebrity wattage was turned up with a Sept. 3 announcement that the special would also include Justin Bieber, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Bateman, Halle Berry, Julie Chen, Terry Crews, Jennifer Garner, Taylor Lautner, Joe Manganiello, Seth Meyers, and J.K. Simmons.

Then, on Thursday, more names were added to the bill: Jessica Biel, Common, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, Austin Mahone, Logan Paul, Big Sean, Eric Stonestreet, Justin Timberlake, and Stevie Wonder.

The special, airing live from the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica, Calif., airport, is being produced by Den of Thieves, a production company behind such shows as the “MTV Video Music Awards” and “Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” on Fox.

While Hollywood loves to put on a show, and there have been other celebrity-studded back-to-school TV specials over the years, there is a longer-term initiative being launched in conjunction with the telecast.

The Entertainment Industry Foundation says the Think It Up initiative will begin to roll out this fall by inviting public school students in grades 7-12 to work with their teachers to develop projects meant to apply what they are learning to real-world problems. The projects will be funded on www.thinkitup.org, which will be powered by the teacher crowd-funding platform DonorsChoose.org.

“This show needs to create anticipation for the overall initiative, and our incredible performers and participants are the perfect group to spark excitement with our audience,” Lisa Paulsen, the CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, said in a statement.

The TV special “will inspire viewers, introduce them to Think It Up’s goals, and give them the opportunity to soon begin donating to student-powered, teacher-led projects in schools across the country,” Paulsen said in the statement.

The supporters of the project include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil, and Staples.

Also on Thursday, the EIF announced that “founding collaborator” of the Think It Up initiative will be the XQ Institute, an organization describing itself as “dedicated to rethinking schooling in America.”

The XQ Institute is affiliated with the Emerson Collective, a philanthropy founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs.

The CEO of the XQ Institute is Russlynn H. Ali, who served as assistant secretary for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Education from 2009 through 2012.

“We are excited to partner with EIF to help put the needs of young people and their teachers front and center in the nation’s consciousness,” Ali, who is also the managing director of the Emerson Collective’s education fund, said in a statement. “Think It Up is a galvanizing leap into a new era, drawing on all of us to support every student in America.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read