After Back to School aired in September 2006, Wide Angle received an email from Karen Weiner, a middle-school Social Studies teacher in Long Island, NY, asking how she could contact the principal of thirteen-year-old Joab’s school in one of Africa’s largest slums, Kibera, on the outskirts of Nairobi. When Wide Angle’s Coordinating Producer Tamara Rosenberg responded she heard an interesting story: Weiner had been so moved by the film that she decided to show it to her students the next day. She was overwhelmed by their response. Her students insisted that they wanted to do something to make a difference in thirteen-year old Joab’s life, and began skipping lunch periods to brainstorm ways they could help. They decided to start by asking his principal what the school needed most.
So Wide Angle put the 7th graders in touch with Joab’s principal in Kenya, Elisheba Khayeri. Ayany Primary, they learned, was missing the basic staple of all schools — a library, and books to put in it. They asked what this would cost. The answer came: $15,000.
Watch this video clip to find out what happened next!