Marsha Warfield as

Episodes 1

December 1, 1981

In 1975, after 14 frustrating years teaching in public schools, Marva Collins opened the Westside Preparatory School — in her own home — on Chicago's depressed West Side. Hoping to create an educational environment where the basics came first (and frivolity was banished altogether), Collins faced problems from the outset: low enrollment, high bills, bureaucratic snafus, and, most daunting, the skepticism of her charges' parents. This presentation recounts the story of the school's trying first year, and along the way, profiles a singular teacher who tempers old-fashioned strictness with praise, patience, and inspiration.

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