NEW YORK – April 4, 2007 – “Dateline NBC” has been awarded a 66th Annual George Foster Peabody Award for “The Education of Ms. Groves,” an hour-long documentary chronicling the struggle of a young first-year teacher at a tough urban middle school in Atlanta, Georgia. The announcement was made today by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
In the “Education of Ms. Groves,” “Dateline” spent a full school year following English teacher Ms. Monica Groves and her sixth grade class at Jean Childs Young Middle School. Groves worked as part of a select group of rookie teachers chosen by the prestigious education-focused organization, “Teach for America,” which recruits some of the most accomplished college graduates in the country to teach in low-income communities. In more than 90 days of shooting throughout the school year, correspondent Hoda Kotb, co-producers Izhar Harpaz and Shayla Harris and their team explored and exposed the realities of life in a troubled American classroom. Granted extremely rare access by the school and Groves herself, their cameras captured classroom scenes seldom seen on network television.
The documentary, which aired in August 2006, focused on Groves’ idealism and commitment to her students as she inevitably confronted the challenges of urban education. It also profiled three of Groves’ pupils who with her help overcame obstacles on their way to educational success. Kotb interviewed Groves at length about her goals, fears and accomplishments throughout the school year, as well as the students and their families. Also included in the report was Groves’ personal “video diary” in which she reflected on her day-to-day struggle to help her students reach their potential.
In their announcement about “The Education of Ms. Groves” the Peabody awards committee said the documentary was “inspiring” and David Corvo, Executive Producer of “Dateline NBC,” said, “Its an honor to be recognized for our commitment to good story-telling. We all take great pride in the hard work and passion Hoda and her team of producers put into reporting this story through the eyes and voices of a remarkable young teacher and her students.”
David Corvo is the executive producer of “Dateline NBC.” Hoda Kotb was the correspondent on “The Education of Ms. Groves.” Ellen Mason was the senior producer, Izhar Harpaz and Shayla Harris were producers, and Frank Bido was the editor on the piece.
The Peabody awards will be presented June 4 at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.