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

Posted by Justine Moore on

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.

“Millions of students around the country, including many right here in Cincinnati, start out with great hope for the future. Yet, somewhere along the way, they give up and make the decision to drop out,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “Through the American Graduate initiative, public media stations – locally owned and operated – are bringing together parents, educators, and business and community leaders to restore students’ hope and encourage them to stay on a path to high school graduation, and a more successful future.”

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 9:20 a.m. 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 onImpact Cincinnati.

The radio broadcast will be followed on January 13 by a special edition of CET’s public affairs seriesFocus. Host Kathy Lehr and guests will discuss the effectiveness of mentoring and how to volunteer.Focus will air on ThinkTV14/WPTO, January 13 at 7:30 p.m. and on CET, January 15 at 12:30 p.m.. 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 begin broadcasting public service announcements (PSAs) in January, encouraging caring adults to become mentors to at-risk youth. These PSAs will lead viewers to the web site or invite them to call the Cincinnati “American Graduate” hotline.

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