"This brings the human element to the statistics."
— Heather Waters, Founder, Richmond International Film Festival
Petersburg, Virginia followed the trajectory of many US post-industrial towns, left struggling after the community's largest employer closed its doors. What followed were decades of impoverished students being funneled through under-resourced schools, with little attention given to preparing them for life after graduation, if they graduated at all.
Seeing the potential in Petersburg, celebrated superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome came out of retirement in order to set the city's schools on a new course by focusing on academic accreditation. Petersburg Rising documents the success of Dr. Newsome's project by showcasing educators and following the students who are the beneficiaries of the district's revitalization. A blueprint for achievement that can be used by schools throughout the country, Petersburg Rising demonstrates that with thoughtful and focused resources and support, any school can give their students the educations they deserve.