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American Graduate Day 2014 airs Saturday on WUCF!

Posted by Jennifer Cook on

American Graduate Day 2014 returns for its third consecutive year. Wes Moore, best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran, will host the all-day broadcast, which premieres Saturday, September 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on WUCF. Broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City, the annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations. Featuring seven hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances, American Graduate Day 2014 will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are American Graduate Champions: those helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes.  

“WUCF TV is proud to make a difference in the Central Florida community as part of the American Graduate program,” said Polly Anderson, WUCF TV General Manager. “We are honored to celebrate those inspiring children across Central Florida.”

American Graduate Day 2014 will be anchored by “Stories of Champions,” a series of 14 one-minute profile pieces scheduled to air every half-hour, which will spotlight individuals and influential figures in local communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation.

WUCF will spotlight the following individuals and organizations and the work they are doing in the community to help kids stay in school until graduation:

  • Evans Community School-
    Evans Community School was established through a partnership among Orange County Public Schools, Children's Home Society of Florida, and the University of Central Florida, to empower students and strengthen communities for lifelong success.
    Featuring Jenny Gibson-Linkh, Brenda March, Amy Ellis from Evans Community School; David Bundy, Children’s Home Society of Central Florida; Dean Michael Frumkin, Ph.D., College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida.
  • Parramore Kidz Zone-
    Parramore Kidz Zone aims to reduce juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, and high school drop-out rates in Orlando’s highest poverty, highest crime neighborhood, and ultimately replicate this model in other Orlando neighborhoods also struggling with disproportionately high rates of juvenile crime, school failure and teen pregnancy.
    Featuring Lisa Early, Brenda March of the Parramore Kidz Zone.
  • Early Learning Coalition of Orange County-
    The Early Learning Coalition of Orange County provides unified leadership, support and guidance to ensure that the children have the opportunity to reap the benefits of developmentally appropriate, research-based school readiness and VPK programs, respecting the role of the parent as their child’s first teacher.
    Featuring Karen Willis, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County.
  • Children’s Home Society of Central Florida-
    The Children’s Home Society of Central Florida to keep children safe and secure. Through parent education, counseling, early education and care, in-home services, and connections to local resources, they help families learn to nurture their children to full potential.

Hosted by Wes Moore, a bestselling author, TV personality (PBS/“Coming Back with Wes Moore” and OWN/“Beyond Belief”) and champion for youth, American Graduate Day 2014 is set up around critical themes with the goal of inspiring citizens to connect with their local public media station and local community organizations, and get involved as American Graduate Champions in helping the youth of their community succeed. Moore is also the founder and CEO of BridgeEdU, an innovative college completion platform that reinvents the freshman year. Throughout the day, a number of on-air personalities from PBS, WNET, and other media organizations will join Moore in studio for special segments. Following the program, PBS NewsHour Weekend hosted by Hari Sreenivasan will feature American Graduate Day, with an in-depth look at Florida’s experimental program to expand reading time for struggling elementary schools.

This year’s topics are scheduled to include Early Education, Caring Consistent Adults, More and Better Learning, Special Needs Communities, STEAM Programs, Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement and College and Career Readiness.  The program also devotes time to areas not covered before, including the special needs community and the work of such organizations as Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, and Special Olympics, and the importance of the arts in STEAM as a key component to More and Better Learning that can compel kids to stay in school, reflected in programs like Exploring the Arts and VH1 Save The Music Foundation, and more. In addition to “Stories of Champions,” other new features include live performances by The Raise Up Project, a spoken word group also being honored the following day at The Kennedy Center, and the Trenton Public Schools Marching Band.

Viewers and online users who are interested in connecting with local organizations and youth as American Graduate Champions can send a text on the day of broadcast or log on to AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns.   Viewers will also be invited to participate in the discussion via Twitter using the #AmGradWUCF hashtag and on Facebook.

American Graduate Day2014 is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET. Michael Kostel is executive producer.  Colin Powers is broadcast producer.  Chris Brande is national segment producer. Helen Maier is co-producer. Anna Campbell is local segment producer. From the Education Department, Kimberly Mullaney is project manager and Carole Wacey is vice president, education. Neal Shapiro is executive-in-charge.

American Graduate Day is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen - a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help more kids stay on the path to graduation.

Visit theAmerican Graduate Day Web site for more details on participating PBS and NPR stations as well as other television and radio programs: http://americangraduate.org/american-graduate-day-2014

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About WUCF TV

WUCF TV is the sole-service PBS member station whose mission is to educate, inform and entertain by providing universally accessible, high quality and unbiased public media content that inspires all people to broaden their horizons and be life-long learners.

The station serves nearly 4 million Central Floridians across nine counties. Licensed to the University of Central Florida, WUCF TV provides four program services, including channel 24.1, WUCF TV’s main PBS programming channel; WUCF Create 24.2; WUCF World 24.3; and Spanish-language WUCF Vme 24.4.   Learn more at http://wucftv.org.

 

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.

 

 

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