American Graduate Day 2013

“American Graduate Day 2013,” Live National Multiplatform Event to Keep Students on the Path to Graduation, Returns September 28 on Public Media
On KNME-New Mexico PBS at 10:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. on Ch.5.1

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– 6 Rural Teens From NEW MEXICO, Featured in the OUR TIME IS NOW Program, Will Be Featured in Segments Airing Throughout The Day, on PBS Stations Nationwide –

Featuring local and national programming, community partners, and celebrities focused on solutions to the nation’s high school dropout crisis

Second annual full-day multiplatform event live from the Tisch WNET Studios
at Lincoln Center in New York City

Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Horizons National, and United Way are among 30 community partners to participate

For the second year in a row, American Graduate Day 2013, will premiere live this fall, Saturday, September 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Ch.5.1, marking a long term commitment to helping communities tackle the nation’s dropout crisis and preparing students for success with a high school diploma. Through the power and reach of public media, communities across the county will be invited to take an active role and become an “American Graduate Champion” for local youth by volunteering their time, talent, or other resources.

American Graduate Day 2013 will once again be broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City. 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).

Throughout the day, segments will air from the program OUR TIME IS NOW, sharing the lives of six rural New Mexican students as they work toward finishing high school, wrestle with personal challenges, and pursue their dreams. They include: Waylon (Torreon), Jimmy (Farmington), Juan (Portales), Mitch (Acoma), Vicky (Deming), Tiqua (Deming). Low graduation rates and poverty dominate the story of New Mexico education. However, when examined through the lens of rural New Mexican students, a dynamic and more complex set of human narratives emerge – of deep family ties, perseverance, cultural traditions, bridging worlds, personal struggle and success.

“American Graduate through America’s public media stations, on air, online and in hundreds of communities is working in partnership with teachers, students, educators, business and community leaders to encourage, in measureable ways, our kids to stay on the path to a high school diploma,” said Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO. “Together with our 1000 local and national partners, we are having an impact and moving toward the national goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by the year 2020. American Graduate Day is just one example of how local public television and radio stations provide content that matters and engagement that counts.”

Last September marked the first annual broadcast of American Graduate Day, a multi-platform event featuring local and national programming, community partners, and celebrities focused on improving the high school graduation rates in America. The key component of the event is the participation of the community-based organizations. Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Horizons National, and United Way are among the partner organizations that have already agreed to participate in American Graduate Day 2013, which will feature nearly 30 national partner organizations, 14 local organizations, and celebrity guests involved in education and youth intervention programs.

“THIRTEEN is proud to once again be the producer of American Graduate Day,” says Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET, home to public television’s THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV. “Creating innovative, inspiring, and informative content that makes an impact in our community and across the country is at the heart of what we do. Using the power and reach of public media, we can make a difference and find solutions to combat the nation’s dropout crisis.”

American Graduate Day 2013 employs the same television broadcast format as last fall with a seven-hour “call to action” marathon around critical themes, including Expanded Learning Time & After School Programs, Early Education, Mentoring, Career Readiness & College Completion, STEM Programs, Family Support, and Dropout Re-engagement & Prevention. Hosted by on-air personalities from PBS, WNET, and other media organizations, the broadcast and online event will be divided into 14 half-hour blocks featuring a mix of live breaks and pre-taped partner segments showing how community organizations provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools. Within each of these half-hour blocks, local public media stations broadcasts will have the opportunity to customize the national feed with a locally-produced live or pre-taped seven-minute segment.

On AmericanGraduate.org, the event will include live viewer generated video content submitted in response to questions such as “How has your life changed, or been changed by the power of volunteering?”

Throughout the day, viewers and online users will be invited to become American Graduate Champions by connecting with their local public television stations and the featured local community organizations. Viewers will be encouraged to participate in the event by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter using the hashtag #AmGrad and on Facebook. Those interested in becoming an “American Graduate Champion” can also call the Toll free number 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.

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

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