Posted by Kellie May on

Cincinnati… Now joined under the umbrella of Public Media Connect, CET public broadcasting in Cincinnati and ThinkTV public broadcasting in Dayton have been awarded a $200,000 American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen community service grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio improve youth outcomes for all students from preschool through college and onto careers. The nation’s graduation rate is at 80%, yet significant “graduation gaps” still exist for students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, and disabilities, as well as those with limited English proficiency.  In both Cincinnati and Dayton, on-time graduation rates are slowly improving, but still fall below both state and national goals.

“Through American Graduate, CET and ThinkTV will help to create a college-going culture, which is key to the future of our region,” said State Senator Peggy Lehner. “Our public media stations can help raise awareness about the importance of gaining a college degree or certificate, and will work with community partners to support young people on their path to college and career.”

Kicking off as students in Cincinnati and Dayton head back to school, CET and ThinkTV will work over the next two years to increase understanding about the challenges for at-risk youth and work with a network of community partners to help develop and illuminate long term solutions, emphasizing the importance of a strong foundation in early education and the need for consistent caring adults. Stations will highlight local leaders who are helping communities increase graduation rates and the everyday heroes in a child’s life who are committed to improving education outcomes as “American Graduate Champions.” The initiative will feature new locally produced content alongside national productions and classroom resources – including PBS NewsHour’s new education desk, American Graduate Day, 180 Days: Hartsville, and the youth-driven spoken word contest RAISE UP!, along with PBS Learning Media and PBS Kids assets. CET and ThinkTV are part of the national American Graduate initiative in partnership with 33 other public media stations around the country.

“CET has participated in the American Graduate initiative for the past two years, working with an extraordinary group of community partners,” said President and CEO David Fogarty. “We’re pleased to build on our work with those partners, and to expand American Graduate to the Dayton region.  This initiative enables CET/ThinkTV to include our community in the national conversation about education, and to highlight many of the solutions and programs that already exist in our community.” 

In addition, CET has received a $10,000 grant from the Newman’s Own Foundation to increase philanthropic support for the station’s local education service and sustain the American Graduate initiative.

“Education is at the core of public media’s mission. Through American Graduate stations’ partnerships with over 1000 local organizations, we are proud of public media’s content and on the ground engagement that has raised awareness to achieve 80% graduation rates nationally and helped America see the potential in every student,” said Pat Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “By strengthening our focus on solutions, starting with our youngest learners, and highlighting local leaders who are creating sustainable change, together, we can set kids – and our country – on a path for long term success.”

In Cincinnati, CET will continue working with local partners that include the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, United Way’s Success By Six, GRAD Cincinnati, the Strive Partnership, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati, as well as numerous schools.  The Cincinnati initiative builds on the public affairs programming created by CET and public radio partner WVXU in the first two years of the project and available at http://cincy-americangraduate.org/.  American Graduate will continue to focus on raising awareness about the “graduation gaps” that exist between various demographic groups in the region, as well as highlighting some of the solutions. The initiative kicks off on Saturday, September 27, when a CET-produced segment will be featured in the live national broadcast for American Graduate Day.  The live segment, hosted by Regina Russo, airs locally and nationwide at 12:44pm.  American Graduate Day airing from 11am to 6pm on CET is a broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis.

“We believe that our partnership with CET has raised awareness in our local community about some of the challenges and opportunities we have in ensuring that all students graduate with the skills they need to be productive citizens,” said Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan. “It’s exciting to know this partnership will continue at a time when our state is raising graduation requirements and our district has launched a new high school initiative called My Tomorrow, which is designed to better prepare  students for graduation and success in college and careers.”


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.


About CET

CET is Greater Cincinnati’s leading provider of education and enrichment in both living rooms and classrooms, reaching more than 2 million residents; 470,000 students and 37,000 teachers. Through PBS and local programming, CETconnect.org, innovative multimedia curriculum projects, parent workshops and professional development for teachers, CET positively impacts our community with rich and diverse resources. CET, the first licensed educational television station in the nation, provides multichannel broadcast and cable services, including CET Arts, the first local 24-hour arts and cultural programming channel in the country. For more information about CET, CET Arts or CET Create, visit www.CETconnect.org.

CET is a service of Public Media Connect (PMC), a regional public media partnership with ThinkTV, Dayton, serving the more than 3 million people in the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton communities. 


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