'Let the Little Light Shine' shows a Chicago community fighting to save neighborhood school

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Friday, August 12, 2022
Chicago community fights to save neighborhood school in new movie
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"Let The Little Light Shine" is a new film from Kevin Shaw about a Chicago community willing to fight City Hall to save a neighborhood public school.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Let The Little Light Shine" is an exhilarating new film about a Chicago community willing to fight City Hall to save a neighborhood public school.

National Teachers Academy Elementary School is a haven of learning and discovery for children of color in the South Loop. When the city moved to close it as upscale families came into the area, parents, kids and educators mobilized.

Director Kevin Shaw is an award winning filmmaker who grew up in Calumet Heights.

"Well, I think when I first heard about the struggle to save The National Teachers Academy I was really struck by the idea of this high performing elementary school that was a beacon for Black and brown children, even being under the threat of being closed and transformed into a high school that would benefit the South Loop neighborhood's wealthier residents," he said.

"I really thought it was important to really capture the essence of an everyday school day at NTA, and really show the teaching and the beauty and the community that was going on in the school, it was important for me to uplift that," Shaw added.

The film has already garnered a significant amount of reaction.

"A lot of people are very, very touched," Shaw said. "I think the film has a little bit of everything in it, it has humor. You might get angry at some things that are being said, you might relate to some things being said, and with the climax you have an inspirational, hopeful end there."

The film will show at the Siskel Center for one week starting Friday. That will make it eligible to be considered for an Oscar nomination.