Nebraska Loves Public Schools, including GI Elementary


An overachieving school attracts the interest of a certain Omaha billionaire's family. Philanthropist Susie Buffett is putting a lens to a local school, to share its story.

Warren Buffett's daughter Susan leads the Sherwood Foundation, which provides funding for a project called Nebraska Loves Public Schools.

Videographers crouched low and swung their cameras high, capturing footage of the final days of school.

They visited Wasmer Elementary in Grand Island. The crew wears shirts that say "NE loves PS", the name of their documentary project.

Amanda Irvine said, "Our goal really is to get the average citizen involved in education. We want to help people understand what can I do to be supportive of our schools, supportive of our state as a whole, realize we have a lot to be proud of, especially when it comes to our public schools."

Why this school? They heard how it scored high for reading and math, despite high poverty.

Eighty-five percent of students receive free or reduced price meals, an indication of the poverty level. And low income students often perform poorly, but not at this school.

The retiring principal credits the environment they've created.

Betty Desaire said, "Over the past years we've created a real community here at Wasmer, call ourselves the 'Wasmer family' and that's how I will remember students and staff. It's been a wonderful experience of a lifetime."

The film crew has traveled the state, from Omaha to Chadron along with stops at schools like Eustis-Farnam.

The documentaries are available online, and also are NET, Nebraska's public television network.

The footage they shot this week is for a special focus on the impact teachers make.