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Education to take center stage
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By John Kanelis

You've heard it said that "Education is power."

How true it is. To call attention to that fundamental truth, Panhandle PBS is teaming up with PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Amarillo College and Panhandle-area educators to tell a compelling story to young people and, oh yes, their parents.

Two big events are coming up. The first one occurs on Sept. 29 with a live interactive webcast in which Panhandle PBS viewers can talk to and ask questions of educators who've dedicated their lives to paving bright futures for our young people.

One of them has been nationally recognized for her work as a public school educator: Shanna Peeples, an English teacher at Palo Duro High School, who was named National Teacher of the Year for 2015. She was honored in a White House ceremony, given a tour of the White House by its current occupant, President Barack Obama and has been on an international speaking tour ever since, calling attention not just to her great work for students, but to the hard work of dedicated educators all across the country.

American Graduate Day activities that begin on Sept. 29 will include the webcast with Peeples, as well as with Mike Bellah, founder of the Amarillo College student club The Finishers; Pat Mullin, coordinator of ESL and Citizenship classes at Amarillo Public Library; and Tim Bryant, Crockett Middle School teacher and Amarillo ISD secondary teacher of the year.

Viewers are invited to join in the conversation and tweet questions to #PanhandleGrad.

The webcast begins at 1 p.m. on Sept. 29, with Ellen Robertson Green, Panhandle PBS chief executive officer serving as moderator.

Is that it? Not even close.

On Oct. 3, an American Graduate Day of programming will air on Panhandle PBS, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will center on several themes: Career Readiness and College Completion, Caring Consistent Adults, Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement, Early Education, More and Better Learning, Special learning and STEAM.

According to Panhandle PBS: "Journalists, community leaders and celebrities will join together to raise awareness of the incredible work being done across the county to keepkids in school. The public media features a mix of national and local segments from across the country that showcase how community organizations and individual champions provide support, advice and intervention services to at-risk students, families and schools."

Our communities all across the High Plains are full of children -- and their parents -- who need to hear the message of how education can lead to even greater success.

Panhandle PBS’s Graduate efforts are part of, "American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen." It is a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Is it true that "Education is power"? You bet it is.

Let us show you how it works.