Celebrate American Graduate Day With Public Media

Posted on September 21, 2012

American Graduate Day, a multi-platform event being held on Saturday, September 22, features local and national programming, partners, and celebrities focused on improving the nation’s graduation rates.

Launched in 2011 by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen is public media’s initiative to help communities address the dropout crisis. The project includes television and radio specials, screenings, Teacher Town Halls with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, community partnerships, engaging curricula for students in an out of the classroom, and includes ITVS programming that focuses on the Latino community. The high school dropout rate is an issue that has many faces and affects people in many walks of life—and people across the country are taking action. More than 20 national partner organizations, celebrities, and athletes are coming together to celebrate the first ever American Graduate Day on September 22, 2012. With a national TV broadcast produced by WNET New York Public Media, a PRX produced radio broadcast with premiere documentaries, and local content provided by PBS and NPR, this public media initiative will help spotlight solutions to the nation’s dropout crisis.

With special guests including Michael Powell, representing America’s Promise Alliance, and PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez, the national television broadcast will air live on public television stations from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST on Sept. 22 (check their local listings). The event will feature 20 national organizations that are working with local public media stations to help young people stay in school and on track for on-time graduation, segments about local community groups, compelling stories from students themselves, and highlights from PBS national and local content – from PBS NewsHour and Need to Know to Jim Glassman’s Ideas in Action and Tavis Smiley Reports: Too Important To Fail. The broadcast will also include the premiere of a new student film from Reel Works New York and a preview of the upcoming FRONTLINE documentary, Dropout Nation. Public Radio Exchange (PRX) will executive produce a one-hour American Graduate special, Left Behind, Dropping Out, for broadcast on Sept. 22, produced by Connecticut Public Radio - WNPR and hosted by former NPR Congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook. 

The program features a one-on-one interview with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. PRX will also curate an American Graduate playlist of radio content produced around the country for stations to broadcast or stream for free. The playlist will include a new one-hour special from State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. Letson will also serve as the social media host of American Graduate Day. Viewers will be able to participate in the broadcast by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook

Those interested in becoming an American Graduate Champion can also call in at 800-313-2477 or log on to AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns. The focus on education will extend past American Graduate Day with special programming continuing throughout the week. PBS NewsHour will feature several American Graduate segments and the FRONTLINE documentary Dropout Nation will air on September 25th. The WORLD Channel is also producing a week of American Graduate inspired programming and public radio stations will continue to broadcast portions of the PRX American Graduate Playlist.

To learn more about American Graduate Day and learn how you can get involved, please click here.

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