It's finally September! Though it might be sad to see an end to summer's long days, and least you have new fall TV shows to look forward to. So, as you scan the TV listings, you might come across some unfamiliar titles. For example, what is Think It Up, which appears to be broadcast simultaneously on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC on September 11? Is it some kind of new, cross-network quiz show, or what?
No, you don't need to know any trivia about Think It Up. It's this year's big, multi-network telethon, akin to last year's Stand Up to Cancer (and also put on by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, or EIF). This year's cause is education, and Think It Up seeks to crowd-fund student-powered, teacher-led projects to get people excited about education. In terms of watching it, you know how these things go: You see some celeb performances, listen to a spiel about a good cause, donate some cash to help out, and everyone goes home feeling better.
The telecast also promises to show inspiring stories about students and teachers. But, if you think it might be too much school for those of you just returning from summer break, here are some reasons you should watch Think It Up.
There Will Be Stars
I know we're supposed to be in it for the love of improving education in America, but, really, the only reason to watch a telethon is for the star power. Think It Up has a big lineup, which includes fresh-from-his-first-No.1-Billboard-hit Justin Bieber, newly installed host of The Late Show Stephen Colbert, singer Kacey Musgraves, and a raft of actors like Taylor Lautner, Joe Manganiello, Seth Meyers, Kristen Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Renner, and Jessica Williams. That's a whole lot of people packed into one cause.
It Really Is A Good Mission
It's heartbreaking to think about passionate teachers who don't have all the funding they need to really inspire their students. It sounds cheesy, but education really is a lifelong gift, and it's easy to forget how important that can be or realize how easy it is to help. If anything, Think It Up is a good kick-in-the-pants reminder.
The Projects Are Cool
The projects being funded are the type that make me want to go back and do high school all over again. For example, one of the school groups to be featured is the Tehachapi High School robotics team in California. According to The Bakersfield Californian, "The local robotics team was filmed teaching computer code to elementary students; building, programming and driving a 120-pound robot; and using three-dimensional modeling and printing." I wish I could've done any of that when I was in school!
Taking over all the major networks — what they call "road-block entertainment" — means you won't be able to avoid it when flipping through the channels. Who are you to resist?
It's Only An Hour
I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember the Jerry Lewis days — or even the Comic Relief years — but those telethons lasted all day. While it seems churlish to complain that they shined too big a spotlight on a worthy issue, I appreciate the brevity of a good, one-hour telecast. State your case, make me realize why the cause is important, and then let me get back to catching up on my other shows.
Or You Can Just Donate Money
Can't deal with the parade of stars asking you to care about education? Skip it and fork over the cash. You don't need to wait until the show starts to make a contribution; you can do it through donorschoose.org. Then you won't have to feel guilty if you go out on Friday night instead.
Images: NBC; Giphy (2)