About the Initiative
Today’s global economy demands a more educated workforce. Communities are working together to improve 21st century learning and increase high school graduation rates to prepare more students for college and successful careers. Public media stations across the country are at the center of this community-based work providing quality content, forums, and classroom resources to build local capacity for long term success.
American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is a long term public media commitment, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. Public media plays a significant role building individual activity, community capacity, and national awareness.
The dropout crisis demands attention now, and we are rising to the challenge of doing our part to address this problem. A new study conducted by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins School of Education finds that the American Graduate initiative has succeeded in building community capacity to meet the national priority of ending America’s high school dropout crisis. LEARN MORE
Working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Johns Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center, and The Alliance for Excellent Education, and over 1000 local partners, the initiative puts faces on the numbers and increases understanding of the risks and solutions through national and local content, covering all facets of the issue for broadcast, web and mobile platforms. In addition, American Graduate is engaging and empowering teachers, parents and students to help those most at risk of dropping out through community collaborations and classroom resources.
More than 75 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have joined forces with over 1000 partners and at-risk schools to shed light on the problem and share solutions. Through American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, local public television and radio stations are empowering individuals at the community level with knowledge by increasing national and local reporting, convening diverse local stakeholders, and providing access to free resources for teachers and parents. By working together and remaining vigilant, we are increasing the footprint of progress, reaching more children and communities and seeding the foundation for a prosperous economic future for our country.
PROGRAMMING: Local public media stations have broadcast more than 1700 hours of inspiring stories behind the statistics to increase understanding and highlight solutions.
RESULT: Communities are gaining knowledge and understanding of the issues. Communities are implementing solutions to help improve outcomes for our youth.
New Voices. Collaborative efforts. Connecting caring adults.
COMMUNITY EVENTS: Local public media stations have hosted over 600 screenings, forums, volunteer fairs, and media workshops. The goal has been to increase awareness and empower caring adults with access to resources, helping more at-risk families transform their lives.
RESULT: Hundreds of thousands of citizens and stakeholder organizations are participating in new discussions and getting involved.
Shared vision. Catalyzing change.
PARTNERSHIPS: With over 1000 partners around the country, public media stations are convening diverse, independent groups to encourage organizations, businesses, and school districts to work together in new ways – or sometimes even for the first time.
RESULT: Community organizations achieve greater results and reach more students by aligning expertise and resources toward shared vision.
Business (Includes corporate and local small businesses as well as groups of business leaders)
• Albuquerque Business Education Compact (New Mexico PBS)
• Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce (Vegas PBS)
• Business Leaders for Michigan (Detroit PTV)
Civic (Includes departments within local, city and state governments)
• South Carolina State Dept. of Education (SCETV)
• Charlotte-Meckenburg Police Department (WTVI)
• City of Atlanta’s Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PBA)
Non-Profit (Includes local community non-profit organizations and foundations)
• STRIVE Partnership (CET)
• Los Angeles City Libraries (PBS SoCal)
• ReelWorks Teen Filmmakers (WNET, New York, NY)
Higher Ed (Includes universities, community colleges and technical training programs)
• University of Arkansas (AETN)
• Miami-Dade College (Florida Collaborative)
• St. Louis Community College (Nine Network)
Schools (Includes public, private and alternative schools as well as school administrative offices)
• Norfolk Public Schools (WHRO)
• DC Public Schools (DC Collaborative)
• Nautillus Middle School (Miami, WLRN)
Faith (Includes churches, synagogues, and other sites of worship and consortia of religious leaders)
• Interfaith Leadership Council of Southeast Michigan (Detroit PTV)
• Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation (Alabama PTV)
• Beebe Memorial Cathedral (San Francisco KQED)
Free Resources. Direct support. Engaging students.
CLASSROOM: Public media has built a vast digital collection of trusted student resources that are free and accessible online and through in-school and after-school programs.
RESULT: Communities are building critical “hands-on” skills to engage at-risk youth and help connect students’ education to a successful future.
Over 115,000 students from 26 states have participated in the Roadtrip Nation Experience curriculum, which focuses on improving students’ behavior and attitudes towards school. A recent study found that students in California using the Roadtrip curriculum ended the academic year with a higher average GPA than students not participating in the program.
In 1973, 72% of jobs required at most a high school diploma. By 2018, that number will shrink to 36%. A high school diploma provides each child with the building blocks to pursue a successful career and a better life, and it supports communities’ aspirations for a thriving economy. However, with nearly 1 in 5 students dropping out high school every year, we have been failing our children and ourselves. Had the nation already reached our 90% goal, the additional graduates from a single class would have earned an estimated $5.3 billion more in income, generated more than 37,000 jobs and increased the GDP by $6.6 billion.(1)
Public media: community and education are central to our mission.
Research has shown that children need ongoing support in order to graduate, starting in early childhood. During the past two decades, over 100 public media stations helped at-risk and low income communities build a strong foundation in early literacy to narrow the achievement gap. The CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative is conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education. Success depends on a robust ecology of strategies and supports surrounding a student that in turn builds capacity in families, educators, and the community for long term success in reaching growing populations. To expand upon this deep investment in early education, public media began building additional resources in 2002 to help students transition to middle and high school, and through college and career milestones.
This continuum of public media education services and engagement in high-need communities coalesced into a national effort called American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen to bolster the positive pace of improvement in high school graduation rates and help our country reach a 90% graduation rate by 2020.
|Nearly 120 million Americans tune into public television stations on a monthly basis, and approximately 65 million listen to public radio each week.|
American Graduate demonstrates public media's commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves. Beyond providing programming that educates, informs and inspires, public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are an important resource in helping to address critical issues. American Graduate content can be accessed for free by all Americans and, like so much of the content found across public television and radio — on air and online — directly benefits our civil society. As the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting, as well as the only entity that represents the breadth of the industry — public television, public radio, producers and local stations — CPB is pleased to share these highlights of work happening across the country. For every dollar of federal funding invested in public media, local stations are leveraging it six times over to benefit their communities and are building an engaged and informed citizenry.
American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting working with local public media stations, public media producers, and distributors to share resources and community models for increased efficiencies and local success.
Along with the communities we serve, together, we’re making it happen!
About PBS -PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, whose members are America’s public TV stations -- noncommercial, educational licensees that operate 354 PBS member stations and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. Of the 162 licensees, 85 are community organizations, 52 are colleges/universities, 20 are state authorities and five are local educational or municipal authorities.
About NPR- A thriving media organization at the forefront of digital innovation, NPR cretes and distributes award-winning news, information, and music programming to a network of 975 independent stations. Through them, NPR programming reaches 26 million listeners every week.
About PBS KIDS - In 2013, PBS KIDS series received eight Daytime Emmy Awards, as well as a combined 13 Parents' Choice Awards across television, mobile app and small screen categories. PBS KIDS also received six Kidscreen Awards, including being named Best Channel Website, and PBSKIDS.org was also honored with a Webby Award and a Webby People's Voice Award for Best Youth Website.
1- (Source: Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Bruce, M., & Fox, J.H. (2013). Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic - 2013 Annual Update. Washington, D.C.: Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, America's Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education. Data from the Alliance for Excellent Education analysis of data from Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.