Nicole Sperling
June 11, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In 2006, Participant Pictures and Paramount turned one small documentary starring one former vice president (ahem, Al Gore) into one major grassroots movement with Davis Guggenheim‘s An Inconvenient Truth. Now they’re looking to ignite social awareness again with Guggenheim’s upcoming documentary about America’s failing public education system. Waiting for Superman, out Sept. 24, follows a handful of promising kids and their families on their quest to find quality education in a broken school system — to incredibly poignant effect. But the studios aren’t resting on the power of the touching narrative alone: A social action campaign in conjunction with all the Viacom channels is in the works, and they’ve already begun courting tastemakers (Katie Couric tweeted her admiration after an early screening this month). Now, that’s a plan for action we can all learn from.

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