American Idol is known for creating controversy on their show, but not many expected such a local backlash after they featured an eastern Kentucky school on their program last Wednesday.
Despite what some are calling negative stereotypes on the show, WYMT's Jon Sonnheim explains why many around the school are singing their praises.
Shortly after an American Idol story aired describing, Eastern Kentucky in this way...
“Many folks here are without the services and conveniences that most of us take for granted, and the fact that so many people can't read is one of the reasons that poverty lasts a long time in this part of America.”
Some in Kentucky were already feeling outrage at what they saw as negative stereotypes imposed upon the region.
“I saw on the show last night, and I was very disappointed on the implications of what was on American Idol,” Governor Ernie Fletcher said.
It was a story aimed at improving literacy featuring Beckham Bates Elementary as a school facing great odds.
For those around the school, words like outrage and disappointment are not being used.
Instead saying they're so proud of the students who contributed to this story.
“The story was about these kids overcoming obstacles and having test scores that are shooting through the roof and learning to read,” Principal Twyla Messer said.
“Te whole concept here is it's not about this community, it's not about eastern Kentucky,” Nell Fields said.
School officials say they've received countless letters, phone calls, and emails from other children across the country.
“Kids wanting to help other kids, which I think is beautiful,” Principal Messer said.
American Idol's website says they have already raised more than 60 million dollars for poverty and literacy relief programs in Africa and America.