CET Kicks Off “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen” in January

Posted by Kellie May on

Date: December 29, 2011                                                 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CET Kicks Off “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen” in January

Public media to tackle dropout crisis with new programming and public engagement initiatives.

Cincinnati, Ohio… CET today launches a series of broadcast and online activities in support of ”American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen,” a national public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help Cincinnati and other communities across America to address the high school dropout crisis.  

Every year 1 million kids drop out of high school nationwide. In Ohio, 39,200 students failed to graduate in 2010, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education. The estimated economic impact on the Greater Cincinnati region is a loss of $180 million in revenues and earnings, according to the Community Research Collaborative of Cincinnati.

CET is one of more than 60 public media and television stations around the country that are working directly with their communities to address the dropout crisis. CET and “American Graduate” project partners Cincinnati Public Schools, Strive Partnership, United Way 2-1-1, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, Mentoring Works and 91.7 WVXU have developed a blend of media across several platforms – TV, radio, online – and community engagement efforts designed to raise public awareness and offer solutions to improve Cincinnati high school graduation rates.

“Education is central to our purpose as a public media organization” said David Fogarty, President and CEO of CET. “We are pleased to be a part of this national initiative, and to join the impressive collaborative of community partners that are working together.”

At 9:20am on January 12, 2012, in conjunction with National Mentoring Month, 91.7 WVXU will officially kick-off “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen” with a report about the importance of mentoring on Impact Cincinnati.

The radio broadcast will be followed on January 13th by a special edition of CET’s public affairs series Focus. Host Kathy Lehr and guests will discuss the effectiveness of mentoring and how to volunteer. Focus will air on ThinkTV14/WPTO, January 13th at 7:30pm and on CET, January 15th at 12:30pm. The program will also be streamed at www.CETconnect.org/focus.

The “American Graduate” project web site, www.cincy-americangraduate.org, will also launch in mid-January. Information about the initiative and mentoring will be available online. CET and 91.7 WVXU will also begin broadcasting public service announcements (PSA’s) in January encouraging caring adults to become mentors to at-risk youth. These PSA’s will lead viewers to the web site or invite them to call the Cincinnati “American Graduate” hotline.

Public affairs coverage of the drop-out issue will continue throughout the year on both 91.7 WVXU and on CET, culminating in a one-hour television broadcast in the fall of 2012 that will feature both local and national experts. Additionally, student perspectives on the challenges of staying in school will be captured through student media labs in local middle and high schools. The media labs are also designed to help students develop next-generation skills.

The local initiative will also address early learning, where students’ trouble often begins. Research has shown that children who cannot read by fourth grade have a difficult time mastering content and progressing to the next grade level. As a result, they lose interest in school and often drop out. To help address this issue, CET has partnered with John P. Parker and Pleasant Hill schools to help improve educational outcomes for young learners.

Drawing upon national PBS resources, CET will introduce PBS’ Raising Readers to these schools. CET will offer professional development for early learning educators, conduct a SUPER WHY! Reading camp on January 9-13th, set up a Reading Corner in school libraries and provide information for parents. Raising Readers is an early learning initiative developed to help children learn to read.

Major local funding for Raising Readers has been provided by the Procter and Gamble Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

“We are delighted to bring public media resources to our youngest learners,” said David Fogarty, “and to have additional support from the community.”  

About "American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen": "American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen  http://www.americangraduate.org/ " is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting http://www.cpb.org/ (CPB) to help local communities across the country address the dropout crisis. CPB, in partnership with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working with public media stations in 20 "Hub Markets" where the dropout crisis is most acute to raise awareness of the issue and coordinate action with community partners – all with the goal of helping students stay on course to graduate from high school.

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 was the first licensed educational television station in the nation, the first high-definition public station in Ohio, and, through CETconnect.org, the first public television station to offer a community-based public media on-demand service. For more information about CET, visit www.cetconnect.org/.



Kellie May                                                                   Gloria Skurski

Promotion & Communications                                   CET American Graduate Director

513-381-4033, ext. 330                                               Chief Content Officer, CET

kmay@cetconnect,org                                               937-220-1645




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