National TV Broadcast and Livestream Part of PBS’ Spotlight Education Week — Celebrates Individuals and Organizations Committed to Improving Outcomes for Youth and Raising Graduation Rates in the U.S.
Special Guests Include: General and Mrs. Colin Powell, Soledad O’Brien, Rachel Platten, Shaquille O’Neal, Berry Gordy, Angela Lansbury, Juju Chang, Rehema Ellis, Susie Gharib, and more.
Local Broadcast to Showcase Community Champions’ Efforts to Address the Needs of At-Risk Kids.
TAMPA, Fla. (September 16, 2016): American Graduate Day 2016 returns this fall for its fifth consecutive year. Soledad O’Brien will host the national broadcast which premieres Saturday, September 17 from 2PM to 6PM EDT on WUSF TV (16.1) and WUSF KNOWLEDGE (16.4). Broadcast from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City and streamed on Facebook Live and americangraduate.org, 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 news segments, mini-documentaries, performances, and interviews, American Graduate Day 2016 is the culminating event of Spotlight Education Week– a special week of primetime education-themed programming on PBS beginning September 12, 2016.
American Graduate Day 2016 will focus on the importance of mentorship as a solution to one of the nation’s largest education challenges, and will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are mentors in their communities, by helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes. This year’s broadcast will be anchored by “Stories of Champions,” a series of short documentary-style profile pieces, which will spotlight individuals and influential figures in local communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation through engaging mentorship and ongoing support.
“On behalf of the station, I would like to congratulate our Tampa Bay American Graduate Champions,” said WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky. “These individuals have devoted their lives to education and have worked to keep students on a path to graduation. They have supported student success through the funding of local agencies, community partnerships and initiatives, family engagement, mentorships and social services. I applaud them for their service over the years.”
WUSF Public Media will spotlight three Tampa Bay American Graduate Champions and the work they are doing in the community to help keep students on the path to graduation:
[if !supportLists]1. [endif]Dr. Marcie Biddleman, D.M., Executive Director, The Juvenile Welfare Board Pinellas County
[if !supportLists]2. [endif]Principal Woodland Johnson, Mort Elementary, Community School in Tampa
[if !supportLists]3. [endif]Dean Bill Heller, College of Education, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist and host of Hearst’s new political talk show “Matter of Fact,” will again host American Graduate Day 2016. The broadcast will be set up around critical themes with the goal of inspiring citizens to connect with their local public media station and local community organizations, and become mentors in their communities committed to helping youth succeed.
Lead partner to American Graduate Day 2016, MENTOR, will help connect adults with students in need through their Mentoring Connector database which will be promoted online, by partner organizations and on air during the broadcast. Those who are interested in becoming a mentor and connecting with local organizations and youth can explore MENTOR’s Mentoring Connector database on http://www.americangraduate.org/be-a-mentor.
American Graduate Day is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen – a public media initiative to help communities address the high school dropout crisis. Additional funding for American Graduate Day is from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Visit the American Graduate website for more details on participating PBS stations as well as other television and radio programs: www.americangraduate.org
AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY HOSTS:
Juju Chang (ABC); Rehema Ellis (NBC); Susie Gharib (Fortune); Michael Hill (NJTV); Soledad O’Brien (Hearst); Sheba Turk (WWL-TV)
PARTICIPATING AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:
Among the national organizations featured are: 4-H, AARP Foundation Experience Corps, ACE Mentor Program of America, Ad Council, After-School All-Stars, America’s Promise Alliance, Best Buddies, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Communities in Schools, Eye to Eye, Friends of the Children, Girl Scouts of the USA, iMentor, Inline-to-Ice, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Junior Achievement, MENTOR, My Brother’s Keeper, P-Tech, Reading is Fundamental, Rotary Foundation, Sesame Street®, The Sparkle Effect, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, YMCA of the USA
CELEBRITY PARTICIPATION ON AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY:
Shaquille O’Neal (Boys and Girls Clubs of America), General and Mrs. Colin Powell (America’s Promise Alliance); Angela Lansbury; Berry Gordy; Wynton Marsalis (Jazz at Lincoln Center); Mark Messier (Inline-to-Ice); Rachel Platten (VH1 Save the Music Foundation); Octavia Spencer (City Year); Reshanda Gray (After-School All-Stars)
American Graduate Day 2016 is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET. Michael Kostel is executive producer. Karen Ialacci is production manager. Chris Brande and Helen Maier are national segment producers. Anna Campbell is Stories of Champions and segment producer. From the Education Department, Amanda Granger is project manager and Carole Wacey is vice president, education. Neal Shapiro is executive-in-charge.
About WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services. Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media serves the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.wusf.org.
About American Graduate
American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people succeed in school and life. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 100 public television and radio stations have joined forces with over 1,700 partners across 49 states to elevate the stories of youth and the supportive adults that help them succeed. Through American Graduate, public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important partner in local communities, provides a critical platform to shine a light on pathways to graduation and successful student outcomes. National and local reporting, both on air and online is helping communities understand the challenges and community-driven solutions associated with the dropout crisis. Public forums, town halls, and community conversations are activating discussions between community leaders, educators, and more.
About SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION
SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION is a special week of primetime news, public affairs and documentary programming on PBS stations September 12-17 (check local listings) focusing on the brightest ideas and toughest challenges facing today’s students and America’s education system. Short-form and full episodes from the week, interactive content modules and a social hub for SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION will be available on PBS.org and Americangraduate.org. SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION also kicks-off of a year-long teacher support campaign—”Teach Boldly”—led by PBS and local member stations across the country. Major funding for SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as part of American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a long-term public media initiative to help all students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.
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 nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook , and LinkedIn.