CET to Participate in First-Ever AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY September 22, 2012

Posted by Justine Moore on

Cincinnati: Public Media Connect's CET announced today that it will be one of the dozens of public stations across the country participating in American Graduate Day USA on Saturday, September 22.

American Graduate Day is a live public media broadcast with participation from more than 20 national partner organizations, celebrities and athletes to spotlight solutions to the nation’s dropout crisis presented by WNET New York Public Media and Public Radio Exchange (PRX). American Graduate Day is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

“As part of American Graduate, public television and radio stations are working in their local communities to help people understand the impact of the dropout crisis and create champions from the community to help students stay on the path to a high school diploma,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “American Graduate Day will use all of public media’s platforms – on-air, online and in the community – to tell this story and focus on local organizations and community responses that are working through parents, teachers, students, and business and community leaders to make a difference in the lives of these young people.”

In Cincinnati, CET will showcase a variety of local organizations and the work they are doing together to help students graduate from high school and make a successful transition to college or career. These efforts support children “from cradle to career,” beginning in the earliest years to help families and children get off to a good start.

The groups involved in Cincinnati’s American Graduate Day include the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati; Cincinnati Public Schools; Cincinnati Youth Collaborative; Every Child Succeeds; The Strive Partnership; United Way’s Success by Six and YMCA’s Black and Latino Achievers. Cincinnati State President Dr. O’dell Owens, a long-time supporter of public television in Cincinnati, will be our host for American Graduate Day.

Join CET every half hour from 1pm to 7pm to hear American Graduate interviews and messages from some of Cincinnati’s most important business, education and non-profit leaders including Rich Boehne, CEO of Scripps Inc.; Julie Doppler, Community Learning Centers Coordinator for Cincinnati Public Schools; Stephanie Byrd of United Way’s Success by Six and Greg Landsman of the Strive Partnership.

“American Graduate Day is about education, about our children’s future, about our community’s expectations, and about the important partnerships needed to help students and schools succeed. It’s also an opportunity for CET to feature both special national programming and our own locally produced content in a one day event to promote public awareness and understanding,” said David Fogarty, president of Public Media Connect. “Staying in school and getting a diploma certainly changes a young person’s future for the better, but it also makes a critical contribution to our community. We’re fortunate to have community organizations that are really focused on that future and how to make it happen.”

Cincinnati Public Radio also will take part in American Graduate Day. At 7am, as part of its ongoing coverage for American Graduate on Cincinnati Edition, 91.7 WVXU will broadcast an interview with Cincinnati Public School Superintendent Mary Ronan.

During this broadcast, Ronan will talk with host Mark Perzel about the current reported drop-out rate for CPS; the need for more tutors and mentors; and how CPS is working to address the dropout problem with specialized high schools and an open high school enrollment policy. She also highlights the benefits of partnerships with community groups and businesses including Cincinnati Bell and Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.

In addition to the local element, the event will feature national organizations working with public media stations to help young people stay in school and on track for on-time graduation, compelling stories from students and highlights from PBS national and local content – from PBS NewsHour and Need to Know to Jim Glassman’s Ideas in Action and Tavis Smiley Reports: Too Important To Fail. The broadcast will also include the premiere of a new student film from Reel Works New York and a preview of the upcoming FRONTLINE documentary, Dropout Nation.

Maria Bartiromo (Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo), JuJu Chang (ABC News), Rehema Ellis (NBC Nightly News), Susie Gharib (PBS Nightly Business Report), Maria Hinojosa (Need to Know) and Ray Suarez (PBS NewsHour), among others, will host the national television broadcast.

Celebrities taking part in the event include local American Graduate supporter John Legend, who recently stopped by the Public Media Connect studios for this project, as well as musician Carmine Appice; ballerina Misty Copeland; former Dallas Cowboy linebacker Darrin Smith; New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira; actor Courtney Vance; philanthropist Elaine Wynn; New York Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty; actor Hill Harper; actor Denzel Washington and more.

Viewers will be able to participate in the broadcast by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook. Those interested in becoming an American Graduate Champion can also call in at 800-313-2477 or log on toAmericanGraduate.org.

CET staff members also will be hosting a Tweet-Up throughout American Graduate Day USA. FollowCincy_AmGrad on Twitter and the hashtag #CETAmGrad to get involved in the conversation.

Following American Graduate Day, the focus on education will continue throughout the week as programming on the PBS NewsHour features several American Graduate segments and the documentary FRONTLINE Dropout Nation airs on Sept. 25.

“Education is fundamental to the success of our kids – and our region and the strength of its economy,” said Greg Landsman, Executive Director of The Strive Partnership. “The American Graduate project is helping to lift up the importance of education, as well as the efforts underway that are having an impact on improving outcomes for children and students.”

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is helping local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. American Graduate demonstrates public media's commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves. Beyond providing programming that educates, informs and inspires, public television and radio stations — locally owned and operated — are an important resource in helping to address critical issues, such as the dropout rate.

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