Dear Oprah, I Have an Idea For You

Dear Oprah,   I Have an Idea For You


After reading an article on the 100 Most Powerful Women, watching parts of NBC’s Education Nation summit, I caught a piece of the newscast that said Oprah Winfrey was in town hosting fundraisers.   All these snippets of news stories came together in what I think might be a valuable idea for Oprah and her OWN network.  If only I could pitch it to her!

Maybe this is farfetched but here goes-

Dear Ms. Winfrey-

I have an idea that I would like to suggest for your OWN network.  There’s no doubt that reality shows are really captivating audiences these days.  My idea for OWN is to produce a reality television show which focuses on the “turn-around” of a Chicago Public School.  You would choose a school that is in need of improvement and then document  what it takes to adopt, renovate, invest and improve in that public school.   The key word being “public” school.  Not a charter.  The school would remain a neighborhood school.

I think it would be perfect for you considering your strong ties to Chicago, your vast resources and influence as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women and your past experience at building schools for girls in Africa.

Education reform is one of the critical issues right now, sometimes even termed the “civil rights” issue of our time.  It continues to capture a lot of media attention.

In reflecting on your extensive career and the team of experts at your disposal, it would be quite a success!  You could have Nate Berkus be involved in the interior design (similar to how he helped out Nettelhorst school).  Dr. Phil could head up a team of social workers and counselors.  Bob Greene could help out with physical education and health. Even Suze Orman could be involved in fundraising and school expenses.

There are so many possibilities to harness celebrities to offer help- former Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson could guest teach a music class.  Spending by advertisers could be collected and used to pay for construction materials and equipment for the school. Think of the drama a huge project like this could generate for a reality television show!

The show could follow a day in the life of some of the teachers, administrators, and quite possibly a student or two.

If private corporations can use their funds to create charter schools, why not use private funds to give public schools the tools they need to succeed?

Should you decide to take on a project like this, I am available! Please contact me at


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    What a fabulous idea! Oprah - you can do this! Raise awareness and enrich our city!

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    What a great idea Lisa! Your spirit is amazing and your reach to the people that can and should make a difference is invigorating to see. You are a suburban mom, wanting to see improvement in the Chicago schools, they should all be happy to know you! Hope Oprah's staff sees this and answers your request!!

  • Terrific idea.It's really a hands on operation instead of all the talk of how bad the schools are and the myriad ideas that have been attempted without success.

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    Lisa Stiegman

    My name is Lisa Stiegman and I have been a Chicago area resident all my life. Besides being the mother of three children, I have been a writer, editor, and teacher.

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