School & District Management

‘Providence Effect’ Documentary Showcases Chicago School

By Catherine Gewertz — September 25, 2009 1 min read

It’s not a big Hollywood production with pumped-up plot lines and production values, like “Stand and Deliver,” “Dangerous Minds,” or “The Freedom Writers.” It’s a cool little documentary about day-to-day, hard-working urban school heroism. And it could be coming soon to a theater (or DVD player) near you.

The Providence Effect,” opening today at theaters in Chicago, Newark, N.J., New York City, and Washington, profiles Providence St. Mel, a scrappy little parochial school of African-American students in a rough part of Chicago that’s been sending every one of its graduates to college for three decades. What they do there isn’t magic. “It’s just a matter of having a certain mindset,” says the school’s founder, Paul J. Adams III.

A version of this news article first appeared in the High School Connections blog.