WHYY held 6 “Civic Dialogues” where diverse groups of stakeholders, including teachers, administrations, parents, foundations, non-profits, public and private schools, discussed issues surrounding school success and graduation. The findings from these dialogues were compiled into a report and presented to the School Reform Commission, who altered the superintendent hiring process due to the findings.
The station established the “Introduction to Digital Storytelling” Teacher Scholarships to allow teachers to attend professional development courses on how to better engage students through the use of multimedia production techniques in the classroom. These courses were held at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons.
WHYY also planned a two-week American Graduate youth media summer camp for at-risk youth in grades 9-12 (or who are in GED programs and are under 19 years old). Students created two documentaries and a series of PSAs addressing the dropout crisis in Philadelphia and the surrounding area with staff serving as guides and executive producers. Through the process of creating these videos, students learned the basics of documentary film production: framing shots, conducting interviews, shooting video, recording audio and voice overs, and editing on Final Cut Pro. (Left: Still from the RAFEEK PSA created by students that participated in the American Graduate youth media summer camp.)
WHYY also participated in American Graduate Day.
Spanish American Civic Association - (WLCH, Lancaster, PA)
With less than 50% of students graduating, addressing the dropout crisis is a priority for the School District of Lancaster, a large urban district with nineteen schools serving a racially and economically diverse population of 11,800 students. WLCH is using student-produced radio programs to serve as a discussion tool for the community and to draw attention to the severity of the local crisis. WLCH organized a Community Breakfast and Call to Action convening partners such as the School District of Lancaster, Greater Lancaster United Way, Lancaster County Workforce Development Board, Millersville University, Lancaster Community Foundation and the Lancaster County Council of Churches.
Pennsylania public media stations participated in a nation-wide 'virtual teacher town hall' project. Teachers were asked a series of questions about things that are most important to them--from challenges to "A-ha! moments," from lessons learned to job satisfaction, from curriculum to parent engagement. The topics tackled in this project showcase a wide range of voices and provide teachers with a chance to interact and share with one another, all while adding to the conversation on America's schools. Hear more Teacher Voices.