Posted by Jennifer Cook on

As a leader in educational media for children and students and a key partner with parents and educators across America, WUCF TV will broadcast SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION, a special week of primetime programming examining the challenges facing today’s students and America’s education system.

SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION features films and documentaries airing on WUCF TV September 12-18 and includes special episodes of NOVA, FRONTLINE and PBS NEWSHOUR, a new film from POV, the premiere of TED TALKS, “The Education Revolution,” and concludes with the 5th annual AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY, a special broadcast celebrating individuals and non-profit organizations dedicated to helping youth stay on track to high school graduation.

“WUCF TV is proud to provide this special week of programming and associated resources to our community, as SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION goes to the core of our mission,” said Dr. Phil Hoffman, Executive Director of WUCF TV.. “By presenting SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION’s varied programs on air and online, we can continue the discussion we have year-round about how to make high-quality educational resources available for all of our children.”

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.

SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION highlights public media’s focus on education and our role in convening conversations around how to improve outcomes for students,” said Paula Kerger, President and CEO, PBS. “With special on-air programming and resources to support teachers, PBS and our local stations are committed to supporting education—at home, in the classroom and in communities.”

“Public media is committed to providing Americans of all ages with educational content for free and commercial free.” said Pat Harrison, President and CEO, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “Our Spotlight Education week affirms the importance of local stations working in partnership with more than 1,700 community and business organizations through the American Graduate Initiative to help young people move toward graduation and career success.”

Short-form and full episodes from the week, interactive content modules and a social hub for SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION will be available on wucftv.org and Americangraduate.org. In addition, previews, clips and full episodes will be available on the PBS apps for iOS and Android devices and via station-branded digital platforms. For updates on the programming, follow #SpotlightEduPBS and #amgrad on Twitter.

The full primetime SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION line-up follows below on WUCF TV:  

Monday, September 12:
10:00 p.m. ET – POV “All The Difference

Trace the paths of two teens from the South Side of Chicago who dream of graduating from college. Statistics predict that Robert and Krishaun will drop out of high school, but they have other plans. The intimate film follows the young men through five years of hard work, sacrifice, setbacks and uncertainty. As they discover, support from family, teachers and mentors makes all the difference in defying the odds.

Tuesday, September 13:
9:00 p.m. ET – FRONTLINE “A Subprime Education”/ The Education of Omarina

In a one-hour special, FRONTLINE presents two films that build on its education reporting. “A Subprime Education,” a fresh look at the troubled for-profit college industry, examines reports of predatory behavior and fraud and the implosion of the education chain, Corinthian Colleges; and “The Education of Omarina” shows how an innovative program to stem the high school dropout crisis has affected one girl’s journey, from a public middle school in the Bronx to an elite New England private school, and now on to college. 

10:00 p.m. ET – TED TALKS “Education Revolution”
Explore innovative approaches to education with hosts Baratunde Thurston and Sara Ramirez. Speakers, including Anna Deavere Smith and Sal Khan, discuss the school-to-prison pipeline, the impact of micromanaging kids and transforming struggling students into scholars.

A thought-provoking documentary about how families, educators and leaders in diverse rural communities are working to get their youngest children on track toward graduating from high school in 2027.

Wednesday, September 14:
9:00 p.m. ET – NOVA “School of the Future”

In a new age of information, rapid innovation and globalization, how can we prepare our children to compete? Discover how the new science of learning can help us reimagine the future of education for all children.

Thursday, September 15:
8:00 p.m. ET – WUCF Artisodes

WUCF explores how art and education are inspiring students in Central Florida.  Megen Nelson is an artist who is mostly self-taught; her science fiction images offer a twist on reality and have drawn national recognition. Plus, The YES program in Daytona Beach introduces students to symphony music, while a program called "Jazz in the Hills" explores the impact of exposing young minds to music.  Also the string ensemble, Violectric shares their passion with area students.

8:30 p.m. ET – SciTech Central
In this special American Graduate episode, go instead a STEM Pre-K in Oviedo working to prepare the next generation of students.  Explore a Central Florida magnet program that provides real world training for future aerospace engineers.  Plus, meet an Orlando high school student who developed an app for children with autism and see how a UCF café is using a harness system to provide job experience for those with mobility issues.

Saturday, September 17:

WUCF will extend SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION by airing the fifth annual American Graduate Day live from Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City. American Graduate Day is a live, four-hour multiplatform broadcast that leverages the power and reach of public media to focus on those organizations and individual champions keeping kids on the path to graduation. 
WUCF TV will highlight the following Central Florida organizations and champions:

  • Kate & Justin Rose: PGA golfer and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose and his wife Kate support the Central Florida chapter of “Blessings in a Backpack,” which provides food for children facing food insecurity in our community.
  • Second Harvest: Go inside the kitchens of Second Harvest Food Bank to learn about the job-skills training program that is changing lives.
  • Amazing Explorers Preschool Program: The Amazing Explorers Academy is a groundbreaking day care and early childhood education center in Oviedo that is setting the standard for pre-school learning using STEAM curriculum.
  • Joyful Music Therapy: Music therapy is changing the lives of special-needs children and young adults in Central Florida. See how this innovative therapy motivates those with disabilities to actively engage in music experiences while working on functional goals like attention, communication, motor skills, social interaction, and emotional skills.
  • Robot Kits for Sick Children: Terminally ill children make up a population of students who don't often receive the educational opportunities they deserve. Dr. Megan Nickels started a group at UCF called Pediatric Interest Group in Education.  The group's members focus on the different ways that they, as educators, can address the needs of terminally ill students. To fill this need, Dr. Nickels has developed a robot kit that provides an interactive way for children to learn mathematics outside of the classroom.
  • Hope Community Center: Go inside Apopka's Hope Community Center and see how they are changing the community with parenting, immigration & spiritual guidance.
  • Young Entrepreneurs: The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a year-long program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses. YEA! guides students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year.

Sunday, September 18:

It’s a meeting of two worlds, where some of the country’s most accomplished mathematicians and math educators work with children and teachers in the underserved, largely rural Navajo educational system.

4:30 p.m. ET - THE ADDRESS

This 90-minute documentary by Ken Burns tells the story of a tiny school in Putney, Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.

Funding for SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people succeed in school and life. 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 who help them succeed. Through American Graduate, public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important part of 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, parents and more.

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