September 29, 2010

ICYMI: Are America’s children being cheated in school?

Posted: 12:08 PM ET
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September 28, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET


Are America’s children being cheated in school?

A controversial new film says the education

system is broken – and needs an overhaul.

Musician John Legend and actress

Cheryl Hines on education for all!


Who do you think is to blame

for the state of education?

Weigh in below.

Filed under: Education

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December 10, 2009

LKL Web Exclusive: "Ambassador" Queen Latifah tonight!!

Posted: 01:31 PM ET

This is a LKL Web Exclusive by Queen Latifah, Centennial Ambassador to the Milton Hershey School – Queen Latifah will also be our guest TONIGHT to discuss what she calls the "greatest story never told" – tune in at 9pm ET!

Milton Hershey, the founder of the chocolate company that bears his name, understood what it was like to grow up too soon. He knew how fate, circumstance and the judgment of others could get in the way of your dreams, but only if you let them. He had only a fourth grade education and started two candy-making businesses that failed before starting the Hershey Chocolate Company.

Milton and his wife, Kitty, sadly, were not able to have kids of their own, but were strongly committed to providing kids in need a nurturing home and a safe place for dreams to grow and flourish. The legacy of Milton and Kitty Hershey, Milton Hershey School, is a promise to children for an opportunity for a better life.

I saw this first-hand taking root in the children I had the privilege to meet in October when I visited the Milton Hershey School. These kids were like the ones I knew growing up. They were smart, interested, eager and full of plans and hope. Yes, they have challenges, but they also have people who want the best for them and, through Milton Hershey School, an opportunity to succeed and realize their dreams. Everything I had heard about the Milton Hershey School, plus the stories shared by the kids and alumni, made me want to be part of their story.

Consider the story of one recent graduate. Her mother suffered from mental illness and was homeless at the time she discovered she was pregnant. The child arrived at Milton Hershey School when she was eight and spent 10 years at the school. Today, she is studying abroad as part of a college program, and is pursuing plans to change the world.

Here is what she recently said about Milton Hershey School: “Without MHS my life wouldn’t have been the same. My passions come from within me, but I wouldn’t have the same aspirations or accomplishments. I am able to have my dreams and goals because of Milton Hershey School. I am who I am because of the school, and I am so grateful.”

It is for these reasons that I am proud to serve as the national spokesperson for The Hershey Company and Milton Hershey School’s “Thank You” Campaign and help them celebrate 100 years of helping kids. It is why I want to help them support children for another 100 years.

Milton Hershey believed so strongly in the power of his school that he dedicated his entire fortune to ensuring its future forever! That’s why he set it up so that every time you enjoy Hershey’s you support the kids. I bet you never knew that! The kids’ thank you, and I do too.

So, here’s what I need you to do…tell people about Milton Hershey School. They already enroll approximately 400 new students a year. To support more kids, they need teachers, chefs, house parents…all kinds of staff to create the nurturing home environment that helps these kids learn and flourish. Visit to learn more and share our story on your Facebook page, tweet about us, and tell friends. Because the more people that know about Milton Hershey School the more we help the kids.

Filed under: Education • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive • Queen Latifah

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June 11, 2009

LKL WEB EXCLUSIVE: Back to School for Country Music Star Gretchen Wilson

Posted: 04:47 PM ET

Gretchen Wilson, along with numerous other country music stars, will be our guest tonight on LKL as we celebrate country music and its fans.  Gretchen's commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive!Gretchen-Wilson

Hey guys, it’s Gretchen Wilson.  I’m excited to talk to Larry King tonight about a topic I feel very passionate about – adult education.  I was one of many teenagers who was forced to leave home and school at a very young age. And for most people, education takes a back seat to work and financial commitment almost immediately. I know this because I was one of those people. I struggled financially until I was almost 30-years-old, and the impossible dream came true. I became a mommy…and a major recording artist for Sony Records.  Even though I was blessed with a life that most people only dream of, there was still something missing, a piece of me that was incomplete. I chose to continue my education not only for myself, but also for my daughter, Grace. She’s in second grade now, and she’s getting ready to start doing long division.

I realized that, as she got older, I would have to address important issues with her, including the educational needs that had not been met in my own life. I knew that she would be curious about things that I valued, such as an education, and that she would ask me probing questions like, if school is that important, then why didn’t you graduate? I also knew that she would need to ask me to help her with much more difficult math problems than long division, and I wanted to be ready to meet the challenge. I wanted to set a good example for her. I was determined to complete my high school education by finding a local adult education program and earning a GED, and I am proud to say that I did. I’m not only blessed, but also relieved that I’ll be able to help her with her homework next year.

I meet so many people doing what I do, when I am out on the road.  So many of them struggling to make ends meet and they cannot because they do not have high school diplomas. Their parenting skills are lacking. Many do not have the basic education skills themselves nor do they understand that they need to nurture and encourage their children to become well educated. They do not have the social skills needed to navigate the workplace, they feel inferior to their cohorts, and they often just give up. People need the tools to succeed in America, and, at the very minimum, a major tool on the road to success is a high school diploma or GED. All Americans deserve a basic education so that they can take advantage of opportunities otherwise not open to them.

Talking with adult educators, every year they are under a cloud of threats for closure or diminished funds. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to work under that type of stress. These highly educated and very dedicated men and women already work on a dime and get more bang for their buck with the dollars spent on their programs than on most federally-funded education programs. I challenge you to show me another program out there anywhere in America that does so much for its people with so little.

But we can make a difference by addressing this issue and raising awareness.  Talk to your legislators to increase funding services to help adults hone their skills and reduce waiting lists. Shape legislation that truly meets the need. Raise this issue on every front. Advocate for it everywhere you can.  Help be a pioneer that brings this silent epidemic to light!

Filed under: Education • Entertainment • LKL Web Exclusive

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