NBC 4 Documentary Features Urban Arts Partnership and Fresh Prep!

NBC 4 New York Premieres New Show Cause Celeb
Hosted by Talk Stoop’s Cat Greenleaf
Featuring Actress Rosie Perez and
Rappers Talib Kweli, Sadat X and Dres from the Black Sheep
NEW YORK, NY (Mar. 1, 2011) – NBC 4 New York will premiere the new show Cause Celeb hosted by Talk Stoop‘s Cat Greenleaf this March. The series introduces various celebrities and highlights their philanthropic work. The first episode features actress Rosie Perez and her affiliation with Urban Arts Partnership, an organization designed to advance the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs.   Urban Arts utilizes a program called “Fresh Prep,” that uses Hip-Hop music to review key content and skills required by the New York State Regents Exams.
“I am honored that Urban Arts Partnership has been chosen as the first non-profit charity to be highlighted by Cause Celeb. This is a very important and necessary series and I hope it will encourage viewers to open their hearts, get involved with issues they care about, and give.” Rosie Perez
Rosie Perez, the Artistic Board Chair of Urban Arts Partnership, teamed up with the organization, having experienced first hand the frustration these students go through in order to graduate. Championing this cause to help city students, Perez credits her aunt for taking care of her throughout her childhood, inspiring her to participate in creative arts and to get an education.
“This is a cause dear to Rosie’s heart,” says Susan Sullivan, Vice President of News, NBC 4 New York.  “Our station supports this important program and is excited to bring it to our local community and to a larger audience.”
In the first episode, host Cat Greenleaf gives us a first look at the pioneering project geared at helping two students from New York City’s New Design High School pass the Regents exams that are required by New York State to graduate high school.  We meet Tamika Cruz, 17, who is determined to pass her Regents exams and become the first in her family to graduate high school.   Michael De La Cruz, 19, a fifth year senior, needs to pass one more exam to receive his high school diploma. Both Tamika and Michael were far from the passing grade of 65 before participating in the program.
Leveraging the appeal and mnemonic power of music, Fresh Prep’s standards-aligned instruction builds the confidence, critical-thinking, and writing skills that students need to succeed on the Regents and graduate from high school. The groundbreaking curriculum was developed by veteran teacher, social worker and artist Tracee Worley and internationally acclaimed Hip Hop Artist/Educator Samuel Sellers (aka Rabbi Darkside).  Sellers wrote and recorded each of these content based rap songs, while Worley crafted the curriculum to guide students and teachers through their usage in preparation for the Regents exams.  Guest collaborators include music producer Keith Shocklee, and rappers Talib Kweli, Sadat X and Dres, who lent their vocal talents to the Fresh Prep lyrics.
Feel the anticipation as Tamika and Michael sweat it out to pass their exams while even having a little fun, too.  To see Cause Celeb, tune in to NBC 4 New York on Sunday, March 6th @ 1:30am ET (after Saturday Night Live) and again on Sunday, March 27th @ 1pm ET. 

If you are a student, teacher, principal, school administrator or would like to learn more about Fresh Prep write to us at [email protected], or call 212-966-5881 and ask to speak with Fresh Prep Manager Tauheedah Baker-Jones.