The Kids of Degrassi Street (1979-1985)
IDA MAKES A MOVIE (1979)
9-yr. old Ida Lucas makes a movie about garbage and enters it into a festival. The film is accepted as one of the finalists, but the sponsors think the film is about war. Ida has a dilemma…should she tell them the film is about garbage?
COOKIE GOES TO THE HOSPITAL
Ida and Noel’s loyalty is put to the test when their clubmate and sworn bloodsister, Cookie, is taken to the hospital with appendicitis. Thanks to a concerned young nurse, they overcome their fear of hospitals and are able to bend hospital rules that don’t allow visitors under the age of 12 to bring Cookie her beloved doll in her time of need.
IRENE MOVES IN
When 8-yr. old Irene moves to Degrassi Street, Ida decides she doesn’t like her and becomes jealous when her pal, Cookie, befriends the new girl. But a harrowing adventure with “Big Foot” finally makes Ida realize that friendship is better than having enemies.
LISA MAKES THE HEADLINES
Lisa’s newspaper isn’t selling very well. A good scoop would help, but nothing exciting ever happens on the block…until Ida is robbed. Lisa’s investigations uncover evidence that points to her brother Noel, as the guilty party.
NOEL BUYS A SUIT
Everything in Noel’s life was fine until his dad decided to remarry. It isn’t that Noel doesn’t want a stepmother, it’s just that Gayle seems to be changing everything. And what right does she have to tell him what to wear for the wedding? Soon, Noel is able to see that Gayle has feelings too, as she confesses she has a lot to learn about living in a family.
SOPHIE MINDS THE STORE
Called away from her afterschool post at the family store, Sophie reluctantly leaves her friend Chuck in charge for a few minutes. Later, she discovers that $20 is missing from the cash register. Certain that she would not make a mistake, she accuses Chuck. But a math error reveals that Sophie’s trust in Chuck wasn’t misplaced after all.
CASEY DRAWS THE LINE
Casey and Lisa are best friends, until they decide to adopt Noel’s pet rabbit. When Casey’s father discovers that the lot line between the two houses has been badly surveyed, the rabbit cage becomes divided in two by the new line. Lisa and Casey become obsessed with property rights, competing, and eventually fighting over the rabbit. The rabbit’s escape and needless death reunites the two girls into a firmer and wiser friendship.
PETE TAKES A CHANCE
Pete persuades Lisa to lend him $10, buys a stock of jokes and novelties, and sells them to kids in the neighborhood. But instead of repaying Lisa from the proceeds, he spends it all on raffle tickets. Trouble develops and he sells off the raffle tickets at a loss to settle his debts.
CHUCK MAKES A CHOICE
Chuck and Pete Riley’s father is serving out a prison term and can see his children only on weekly passes. When Pete gets a leading role in the school play, he begs off the weekly visit with his father claiming pressure of rehearsals. Chuck gets a crush on Tina but is ashamed to tell her about his father. Although invited to the play, Mr. Riley is disturbed by the boys’ behavior and decides not to go. At the last minute, Chuck realizes the pain they have caused.
BILLY BREAKS THE CHAIN
CATHERINE FINDS HER BALANCE
Catherine (Cookie) Peters’ parents have been separated for some time. It is not an amicable situation and Catherine feels caught in the middle. When she is chosen to represent her school on the gymnastics team, both parents want to see her perform. But neither parent is present when she wins.
BENJAMIN WALKS THE DOG
As far as Billy is concerned, his little brother, Benjy is and embarrassing tagalong. When Billy and his best friend Peter, get a dog-walking job, they turn the chore over to Benjy. Meanwhile, they sneak into the clubhouse and try experimental puffs on some cigars. The boys get horribly sick, and then spend a frantic time searching for Benjy and the dog.
SAMANTHA GETS A VISITOR
When city-girl Lisa goes to visit country-cousin Samantha, she is thrilled at the prospect of exploring the great outdoors, and disappointed that her cousin does not share her enthusiasm. Samantha finally agrees to go on a fishing trip with her younger brother, Tom, and Lisa. Problems ensue when they find they will not be able to get home before dark. Fortunately, the girls use their heads and make a safe camp for the night. They are found and taken home the next morning. Samantha concedes that, under different conditions, camping just might be fun after all.
THE CANARDS MOVE OUT
Lisa’s father is having serious problems in his business. Lisa’s stepmother Gayle convinces her husband that accepting a partnership with his brother will solve the financial problems–but it involves moving the family out west. Lisa hates the idea of leaving and lashes out at her best friend, Casey, and particularly at Gayle. Lisa finally realizes that she is not alone in her concernss and mutual support will help them all handle the change.
LIZ SITS THE SCHLEGELS
Liz gets a job as babysitter for the three Schlegel children. Liz handles the kids well–keeping a watchful eye on baby Calvin, reading bedtime stories to Melanie, and monitoring the children’s TV viewing. But the eldest, Martin, resents Liz. It is not until he gets involved in a situation that could have endangered his brother and sister without Liz’s presence that he comes to accept her.
CONNIE GOES TO COURT
Casey accuses Connie of stealing $5 from the gift fund for their teacher. Inspired by their recent class reading of the The Merchant of Venice, their classmates decide to hold a trial to settle the matter. The decision goes against Casey, but Connie feels guilty about the outcome. Although she did not actually steal the money, she did borrow it in the belief she could replace it immediately. She explains to Casey how the incident stemmed from a misunderstanding and the two girls admit that each had a share in the wrong and have learned a lesson in responsibility.
RACHEL RUNS FOR OFFICE
Rachel Hewitt and Billy Martin are opposing candidates in a school election. With Pete Riley as campaign manager, Billy runs on personality and dancing talent to attract votes. Rachel takes a serious approach and sticks strictly with the issues. When given some personal information about Billy, Rachel refuses to use it even though it could win her the election. The outcome of the voting makes winners out of all the participants.
MARTIN MEETS THE PIRATES
Pete Riley has hired Melanie as a helper in his car wash. The business is doing well when a street gang, the Pirates, appears and demands protection money. When Pete refuses, the gang roughs up Pete and Melanie. Unable to get help to resist the bullies, Pete reluctantly figures he’ll have to give in. But Melanie won’t admit defeat. She tells her brother Martin the story–not knowing that the Pirates have been trying to entice Martin to join their gang. Martin’s temptation to become a tough guy is instantly dispelled, and he and Melanie rally the neighborhood to scare off the Pirates.
GRIFF MAKES A DATE
Griff and Lisa begin to like each other. Lisa learns that her new baby brother has a mental handicap and will learn more slowly than other children. She hears Griff call Danny, the crossing guard offensive names and gets mad at him. Realizing that this has jepordized their friendship, after he hears Lisa’s speech on the topic of her brother, Nicholas, he tells Danny and Lisa that he is sorry. Then they go to a restaurant, friends once again.
CONNIE MAKES A CATCH
Into everyone’s life comes a time when winning acceptance is a major concern. As they enter their last term in grade school, three of the Degrassi Street youngsters are trying to change themselves to conform with what they think will accomplish that. Martin is struggling to look like the boys of the “with-it” group. Lisa is tempted to disobey her parents in order to go on her first date. Connie is desperately trying to alter her personality to get the school’s star baseball player to notice her. In each case, their efforts are failing miserably. It is Rachel’s advice “Just be yourself” that finally proves to be the key to achieving their goals.
JEFFREY FINDS A FRIEND
Jeffrey concentrates on his studies at the expense of making friends. It’s a surprise, therefore, when Connie beats him in a math test. She brags that she doesn’t need to study and can beat Jeff again on the next test. Griff, who is in danger of failing, asks Connie for help but she refuses, revealing her boast of not studying was a lie. But Jeffrey forfeits his own study time to help Griff. Although he loses the bet, Jeffrey emerges the winner, gaining the respect and friendship of Griff.
LISA GETS THE PICTURE
A class on careers gets the kids of Degrassi Street School thinking about the future. In most cases, their ambitions are vague: Lisa has no special goal except wanting Griff to like her; Pete will go into anything that makes money; Casey dreams of becoming a romance writer. Lisa becomes so preoccupied with her new interests, Griff and her future that a serious rift occurs between Casey and herself, threatening their friendship. Concerned by what she sees, Lisa’s stepmother gently prompt her to repair the girls’ differences by showing her one of her own yearbook inscriptions:”Make new friends, but keep the old One is silver, the other gold.”
KAREN KEEPS HER WORD
Karen goes to a partnership with Pete in a window-washing venture so that she can earn the money to buy a pair of roller skates. But when an unexpected birthday check arrives, she rushes off to buy the skates – forgetting about a job Pete has scheduled. Let alone to cope, Pete falls off a ladder and sprains his ankle. Karen feels terrible, and a situation involving her friend, Casey, makes her doubly ashamed of her actions. Casey has made an unpopular decision in order to uphold a class commitment to oppose nuclear weapons. Karen shows her mettle: she speaks up in Casey’s support and figures out how to keep Pete’s business going for him.
MARTIN HEARS THE MUSIC
Martin is embarrassed at having to wear a hearing aid. When he refuses to use it during a rehearsal for the school show, Rachel becomes furious and walks out. The other children’s concern for Martin leads to a honest exchange which clears up his fears of being treated with pity instead of friendship. Rachel becomes concerned with her weight when the dress she wants to wear to the Talent Show is too small, and she takes a crash diet, which leaves her moody. She gets frustrated at Martin for not wearing his hearing aid and calls him “deaf” and “dumb”. Ironically, it is Martin’s mother, a nutritionist, who makes Rachel see how foolish she has been trying the diet. Eventually, Martin and Rachel forgive each other, and the Show is a success, with Rachel singing a about the fact that it is alright to be different. The song now has an upbeat ending that Martin, too, can appreciate.
RYAN RUNS FOR HELP
When Ryan persuades his friend Benjy to ignore “Danger– Keep Out” signs and sneek through the fence into a construction site, Benjy falls into a pit. Ryan goes for help but has trouble convincing anyone this is a real emergency, since Ryan has been known to make up stories to get attention. The kids are taken to the police station where they are lectured on the dangers of ignoring warning signs. Benjy’s older brother, Billy, realizes Ryan lacks parental guidance, so he volunteers to be a “Big Brother” to the little boy – providing Ryan with the help he raelly needs.
GRIFF GETS A HAND (Series Finale) 1985
Griff has to work hard to achieve passing grades. But with his friend Lisa’s help, he is determined to do it. Griff is very fond of Danny, the school crossing guard. When Danny suddenly dies of a stroke, Griff is devastated. Realizing he has people who care for him, Griff returns to his studies and to Lisa–and the entire class shares in the happy moment when he receives his diploma.