MARINE PARK, BROOKLYN (WABC) -- Back in 1989, Brian Robbins was a TV sitcom heartthrob, starring on ABC's hit show "Head of the Class," about a class of gifted students attending a fictional Manhattan high school.
But on Jan. 3, 1989, the Eyewitness News camera was following Robbins around Marine Park Junior High School, his old school in Brooklyn, where he encouraged the starstruck kids to get serious about their own education.
"I see just how important it is and I really hope everyone in this room .. if you have some kind of learning or area that you are falling behind in, that you get help," Robbins said.
Robbins was promoting an educational program called "Smart Steps" which helped get parents, teachers, and students to work together to overcome learning disabilities.
At the time, according to this file report, 13% of the 17-year-old students in the United States were functionally illiterate and over 700,000 students were dropping out each year
"If it helps two kids in that auditorium out of I don't know how many kids....it's worth it," said Robbins.
Robbins himself went on to an impressive career off camera, and is now the president of Nickelodeon.