Wes Moore to Host “American Graduate Day 2014”

Saturday, September 27 on Panhandle PBS

American Graduate Day 2014 returns this fall for its third consecutive year. Wes Moore, best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran, will host the all-day broadcast which premieres Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Panhandle PBS. Broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City, the annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations. Featuring seven hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances, American Graduate Day 2014 will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country helping youth stay on track to college and career successes. 

American Graduate Day 2014 will be anchored by “Stories of Champions,” a series of 14 one-minute profile pieces scheduled to air every half-hour, which will spotlight individuals and influential figures in communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation.

Panhandle PBS will spotlight local leaders and the different educational issues and challenges facing the Texas Panhandle. Featuring Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President, Amarillo College; Anette Carlisle, Director, Panhandle Twenty/20; and Doug Curry, Coordinator, No Excuses University. Panhandle PBS will also explore the ACE Scholarship Program and the vital role it plays in local education attainment.

The American Graduate Day 2014 broadcast is set up around critical themes with the goal of inspiring citizens to connect and get involved in helping the youth of their community succeed. Throughout the day, a number of on-air personalities from PBS and other media organizations will join Moore in studio for special segments. Following the program at 5:30 p.m., PBS NewsHour Weekend hosted by Hari Sreenivasan will feature American Graduate Day, with an in-depth look at Florida’s experimental program to expand reading time for struggling elementary schools.

This year’s topics are scheduled to include Early Education, Caring Consistent Adults, More and Better Learning, Special Needs Communities, STEAM Programs, Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement and College and Career Readiness.  The program will also devote time to the special-needs community and the work of such organizations as Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, and Special Olympics, and the importance of the arts in STEAM as a key component to More and Better Learning that can compel kids to stay in school, reflected in programs like Exploring the Artsand VH1 Save The Music Foundation, and more.

Viewers and online users who are interested in connecting with local organizations and youth as American Graduate Champions can send a text on the day of the broadcast or log on to AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns.   Viewers will also be invited to participate in the discussion via Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook. Panhandle PBS has created a local webpage, providing additional local information at panhandlePBS.org/americangraduate.             

CONFIRMED MODERATORS:

Wes Moore (PBS and OWN), Juju Chang (ABC), Rehema Ellis (NBC), Bianna Golodryga (Yahoo!), Lyn May(PBS),Hari Sreenivasan (PBS NewsHour Weekend), Rebecca Jarvis(ABC News), Susie Gharib(Nightly Business Report),William Brangham (PBS NewsHour Weekend) and Lauren Wanko (NJTV). 

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Among the national organizations featured are: 4-H, 100K in 10, America SCORES Cleveland, America’s Promise Alliance, Americorps, Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Citizen Schools, City Year, Communities in Schools, Exploring the Arts, FIRST, Gateway to College National Network, GEAR UP, Junior Achievement, My Brother’s Keeper,National Academy Foundation, Publicolor, The Raise Up Project, Reach Out and Read, Reading is Fundamental, Roadtrip Nation, Special Olympics, Samsung Electronics North America, Taco Bell Foundation, United Way and VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS

Tony Bennett and wife Susan Benedetto will be interviewed about Exploring the Arts; Gen. Colin Powell and Alma Powell will be interviewed about their organization, America’s Promise Alliance; Brian Williams (NBC)and Jane Williams, daughter actress Allison Williams (HBO’s Girls)and son Doug Williams(YES Network) will be interviewed about their organization, Horizons National; Michael Bloomberg (former Mayor of New York City) will appear on behalf of Publicolor; Reggie Bush (Detroit Lions) will appear on behalf of Taco Bell Foundation; Ingrid Michaelson (singer/songwriter) will give a testimonial about VH1 Save The Music Foundation; Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver, Miami Vice), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Olympic gold medalist) will appear on behalf of Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Miral Kotb (dancer/choreographer) will be interviewed about Girls Who Code;Andy Grammer (singer) will host the VH1 Save The Music Foundation segment.

American Graduate Day2014 is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET, and is a part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen - a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help more kids stay on the path to graduation.

Visit theAmerican Graduate Web site for more details on participating PBS stations as well as other television and radio programs: http://americangraduate.org/american-graduate-day-2014 

AboutPanhandle PBS

Panhandle PBS is a public media organization that provides a gathering place for intelligent, trusted community engagement to educate, enlighten, entertain and empower the people of the Texas Panhandle and the world. Licensed to Amarillo College, the station extends the community college philosophy of improving the quality of life for all residents. Panhandle PBS broadcasts on Channel 2.1 in digital High Definition carrying PBS programming and Channel 2.2 in digital Standard Definition carrying Spanish language V-Me programming. For more information, please visit www.panhandlePBS.org.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About American Graduate

American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen was launched in 2011 with 25 public media stations in high need communities to spotlight the high school dropout crisis and focus on middle and high school student interventions. Today, more than 80 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have partnered with over 1000 community organizations and schools, as well as Alma and Colin Powell's America's Promise Alliance, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Alliance for Excellent Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation to help the nation achieve a 90% graduation by 2020. With primetime and children’s programming that educates, informs, and inspires public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are important resources in helping to address critical issues facing today’s communities. According to a report from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, American Graduate stations have told the story about the dropout crisis in a way that empowered citizens to get involved, and helped community organizations break down silos to work more effectively together. In early 2014, CPB and PBS KIDS committed an additional $20 million for the “American Graduate PBS KIDS Fund” to also help communities connect the importance of early learning as part of a student’s long term success. In addition to station grants for local engagement, the Fund will support the creation of children’s content and tools to help parents, particularly those from low income communities, better prepare their young children for long term success. Fourteen American Graduate station grantees have also been awarded CPB early education grants to reach children ages 2-8 with programming and services developed through the Ready to Learn Initiative, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

         

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