Wes Moore to Host 'American Graduate Day 2014'
American Graduate Day 2014 returns this fall 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 am - 6 pm EST, on public media (check local station listings). 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.
"Every child deserves a quality education and an opportunity for success," said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). "The high school graduation numbers are moving in the right direction because people have stepped up as champions for students on behalf of their communities, committed to improving outcomes for all of our nation's youth. On American Graduate Day, local public media stations will be celebrating the inspirational stories that are contributing to the progress our nation is making in addressing the dropout crisis."
American Graduate Day 2014 will be anchored by "Stories of Champions," a series of 14 one-minute profile pieces scheduledto 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.
"American Graduate Day is emblematic of the impact that public media can have when we work with others to address an essential issue. Last year's program was seen by nearly one million viewers on more than 100 public TV stations, helping us shed a light on the many ways communities are successfully helping students succeed, " said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET, home to public television's THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV. "This gives us the chance to highlight the remarkable individuals, mentors and organizations at the heart of every community and to present their inspiring stories-which make a compelling case for investing in the future of America's children."
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 Artsand 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.
The broadcast and online event will be divided into 14 half-hour blocks featuring a mix of live breaks and pre-taped partner segments that spotlight the organizations reinvigorating communities around the country and illustrate how they 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 six-minute segment.
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.orgto 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 Twitterusing the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook.
Wes Moore (PBS and OWN), Juju Chang (ABC), Rehema Ellis (NBC), Bianna Golodryga (Yahoo!), Lyn May (PBS), Hari Sreenivasan (PBS NewsHour Weekend), William Brangham (PBS NewsHour Weekend) and Lauren Wanko (NJTV).
Among the national organizations featured are: 4-H, America's Promise Alliance, Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America,Citizen Schools, City Year, Exploring the Arts, FIRST Robotics, Gateway to College National Network, Junior Achievement, My Brother's Keeper,National Academy Foundation, The Raise Up Project, Reach Out and Read, Reading is Fundamental, Roadtrip Nation, Special Olympics, Samsung Electronics North America, Taco Bell Foundation,United Way and VH1 Save The Music Foundation.