On-Air Highlights

American Graduate Day

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Sep 14, 2012 7:56 AM

american_graduate_day_full_logoJoin us September 22nd for American Graduate Day on witf featuring celebrities and athletes to spotlight solutions to the nation's dropout crisis in which one in four students do not finish high school. 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). With special guests including PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez, the national television broadcast will air live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The event will feature 20 national organizations that are working with PBS and NPR stations across the country to help young people stay in school and on track for on-time graduation, segments about local community groups, compelling stories from students themselves, and highlights from other PBS programs.

Special guests taking part in American Graduate Day:

Celebrities taking part in the event include 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; NBC Nightly News anchor and Rock Center host Brian Williams; host and producer of Bloomberg EDU Jane Williams; and many more. Additionally, actor Denzel Washington and singer John Legend will be featured in taped interviews discussing the dropout problem. Public television stations representing more than 50 percent of U.S. households will broadcast American Graduate Day with many including local content alongside the national features.

Get Involved with American Graduate Day:

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 to AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns.

Partnering with American Graduate Day:

Among the national organizations that will participate in the broadcast are After School All- Stars, America SCORES, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, buildOn, CFY, City Year, Communities in Schools, Girls Inc., Harlem RBI, Horizons National,Jumpstart, Little Kids Rock, NYC Mayor's Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism and School Engagement, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, Reel Works, United Way, YouthBuild and the YMCA.

Beyond American Graduate Day:

Following American Graduate Day, the focus on education will continue throughout the week. On witf: PBS NewsHour will feature several American Graduate segments, including a panel discussion and a segment about the challenges of keeping Williston, North Dakota students in school as their area struggles with an oil boom. The documentary FRONTLINE Dropout Nation will air on September 25. We'll also have special programming on witf-fm to coincide with this special initiative. Details still to come.

Additional Resources:

American Graduate website and teaching materials

Published in On Air highlights, Radio, TV

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