Parents, Students, Educators | Business, State and Community Leaders |
People around the country-- from students to local and national leaders-- are talking about their experiences with the American Graduate Initiative at work through their local Public Media stations.
Parents, Students, Educators
"Implementation of the American Gradate grant gave APT, for the first time, an opportunity to address all of the prominent adult education service providers in the Birmingham Metropolitan area. Without the American Graduate grant, identification of key players in the adult education market might have taken another eight years. There is no doubt that training opportunities will follow and more adult learners will be served.”
--Libby Davis, Education Specialist at Alabama Public Television on GED's (APT-Birmingham, AL)
"Thank you and New Mexico PBS for hosting the American Graduate Teacher Town Hall… The opportunity to share ideas and express our perspectives was helpful and important. Ray Suarez did an excellent job, sparking engaging and thoughtful conversation. I hope to continue to participate in making a difference for our families in New Mexico. Once again, thank you very much.”
--Participant from the New Mexico Town Hall talks about experience (Albuquerque, NM)
"This June, I will graduate from Power House High School, and I am planning to start college in the fall. As I think about the American Graduate PSAs that we produced, I am so proud and feel that they can make a difference and help kids stay in School. Let’s make it happen!”
--Johnny Thrower, a Chicago teen participating on Free Spirit Media’s production team for American Graduate (WTTW Chicago, IL)
"The number one reason students drop out of high school is because the education is not interesting. dMAC [Digital Media Arts Club] showed that education can be interesting by providing technology, so if you involve electronics within the classroom, the students will be interested.”
-- Renea Young on their student produced PSAs (WPBA Atlanta, GA)
"I learned a lot and will stay focused in school and will think twice about dropping out.”
-- Antonius Pace on their student produced PSAs (WPBA Atlanta, GA)
"I learned that if you drop out of high school you will have a less chance for a better future."
--6th grade student from Hialeah Gardens Middle School PSA contest (WLRN Miami, FL)
"What impressed me as I moved around to the different areas was that the professionals were so excited to be here to share their knowledge and talk to the students. This genuine positive feeling transferred itself to the students and I saw faces light up on both sides of the tables as information was shared. I was very proud to witness the interactions between the presenters and students.”
-- Teacher at Ghazvini Success Academy commenting on the Career Fair (WFSU Tallahassee, FL)
"WFSU’s support and involvement in the iNextwork Professional Lunch series and the annual Success Academy Career Fair have been paramount in giving our students hope for their future, as employment and life service opportunities, many of which were previously unfamiliar to them, have been revealed to them. We greatly value our partnership with WFSU – the academic and behavioral success of our students can be directly linked to our association with WFSU!"
--Sue Rishell, Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Ghazvini Success Academy (WFSU Tallahassee, FL)
"For many teachers, it is as if we have been in an ongoing, escalating seriously nasty battle this school year. You and all of your colleagues gave us new life, a vote of confidence, and the emergency resuscitation that many of us who went to Jacksonville so desperately needed.”
–- Middle School Teacher, Hillsborough County on FL teacher Town Hall (WEDU-WUSF FL)
"I left with the feeling that someone is actually listening to us and cares about what we as teachers do each day. It was nice to know that someone … is concerned not only for the students but for those in the trenches doing the work to make our collective future better!"
--Antonio Young, participant, FL Town Hall Participant (WJCT Jacksonville, FL)
"I want to thank you and your team for your invitation to be a part of the WHRO Teacher Town Hall event. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. …I found the information useful – and I’m sure that it will help next year as I begin my new job as a graduation coach…”
--Town hall participant on experience (WHRO Norfolk, VA)
"We don’t have this any place else. If you bring this forum together every so often and give us jobs to do, we will impact the dropout crisis.”
--Town hall participant on value of Town Hall (WHRO Norfolk, VA)
"This event really motivated me into doing better in school. I'm 13 and I really want to do good in life now."
-–Student (WGVU Grand Rapids, MI)
"Thank you so much for spreading the word about declining dropout rates in the Atlanta area. More importantly thank you for being a catalyst for reversing these tendencies and identifying best practices to increase graduation numbers.”
--Dana Price, member, Embracing Mays Community and Cluster Schools (PBA Atlanta, GA).
"Personally, it helped invigorate my motivation to help students be successful. From a broadcast to the public perspective, this program helps show America that teachers are concerned about student problems and want to help and also need help to make this happen.”
--NY Teacher Town Hall participant (WNET New York, NY)
"I believe we need to promote the importance of becoming lifelong learners in our classes. Students need to know that learning doesn't stop once they graduate high school, but continues for the rest of their lives. “
--NPT Teacher Town Hall participant (NPT Nashville, TN)
"I think this is something every student should experience. It gave the student an opportunity to experience reality. If I could have the curriculum implemented in all of my classes, I am quite sure that we will see a change in the building dynamics.”
-- Ms. Mickens, Osborn High School Teacher On Teacher Training Videos created by DPTV and Winning Futures (DPTV Detroit, MI)
"WFSU has been instrumental in helping to decrease the drop-out rate at the Success Academy due to the many programs they have supported on the Success Academy campus: Operation American Graduate to Economic Security (AGES), Parent Engagement Title 1 Parent Nights, the monthly iNetwork Professional Lunch series, the annual Success Academy Career Fair, and donations to support our school-wide behavior program; Positive Behavior Support (PBS). Due to WFSU’s provision of the AGES Leadership class and donations for our PBS (Positive Behavior System) program, the Success Academy student referral rate has dropped drastically and student academic assessment scores have significantly increased. In the AGES course students have learned the skills they need to succeed in school. Not only has the course been invaluable but it has also been extremely enjoyable for the students. WFSU’s support and involvement in the iNextwork Professional Lunch series and the annual Success Academy Career Fair have been paramount in giving our students hope for their future, as employment and life service opportunities, many of which were previously unfamiliar to them, have been revealed to them. We greatly value our partnership with WFSU – the academic and behavioral success of our students can be directly linked to our association with WFSU"
--Sue Rishell, Assistant Principal of Curriculum, the Success Academy
Business, State, and Community Leaders:
"It is important to know the difference between a dream and a vision. After you have a vision, you must lay a framework; and the American Graduate project helps students create the framework to fulfill a vision of success."
-- John Marks, Mayor of Tallahassee
"WFYI and their community partners around the table are totally committed to the American Graduate program, raising awareness in the community and together working to find solutions to the dropout crisis.”
--Kelly Porter, Mary Rigg Community Center (WFYI Indianapolis, IN)
"WFYI’s efforts to shine the spotlight on our community’s efforts to address the high school dropout issue has been instrumental in helping to awake the energy of schools, parents, students, and community leaders. Thanks to those efforts, young people have renewed hope that they can succeed – and they know many who will help them achieve their goals.”
-John Brandon, Marion County Commission on Youth (WFYI Indianapolis, IN)
"I appreciated hearing about the “American Graduate” initiative. WFYI is a natural place to convene important discussions to affect action for the better. Please know our office is here if we may be of service.”
-Ginny Cain, Office of US Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) (WFYI Indianapolis, IN)
"I think WFYI's approach to the American Graduate project has been beneficial not only to identify stories and issues, but to leverage additional support for the station's impact. The process has been inclusive, and as a youth-media partner, it has provided a monthly touchstone about what is happening at the grassroots level. We are able to float ideas and receive feedback from a youth-development network.”
-Lynn Sygiel, Director of Y-Press (WFYI Indianapolis, IN)
"Thanks for the GREAT American Graduate segment this morning! The spot was nicely constructed. Using the testimonial from Alex’s Mom truly illustrated how important early intervention can be to future success.”
--Barb Richardson, Easter Seals Crossroads on News Report (WFYI Indianapolis, IN)
"American Graduate is a wonderful program! I am committed to doing whatever I can to help students stay in school and graduate. When students start school in pre-K or kindergarten, they do not begin with the mindset of dropping out; we, as parents, educators, and leaders, have to do something about that.”
--Rueben McDaniel, Chair, Atlanta Board of Education (WPBA Atlanta, GA)
"As the co-chair of the Economic Security Committee in Jefferson County, I have seen the need for a professional network that can help address the needs and possible solutions surrounding Birmingham City’s GED providers and its citizens. Our work with “American Graduate” has really helped us fill in the missing piece by providing a platform where GED providers, recovery programs, schools, and community based organizations could all jump on together.”
--Stephen Hannum, Manager of Community Outreach, Literacy Council (APT Birmingham, AL)
"Working with WETA on the American Graduate project was very special because it was such a collaborative process and because the opportunities for and value of a post secondary education played very prominently as a strategy to reduce the number of high school dropouts in the District.”
-– Yvonne Green, Manager, Double the Numbers Coalition (WETA Washington, D.C.)
"American Graduate has helped our organization dialogue with other education and community partners. Our students have been more involved in public conversations and have had an opportunity to realize the impact they have on education in the state of Indiana.”
--Marquisha Bridgeman, Goodwill Educational Initiatives (WFYI Indianapolis, IN)
"Thank you for bringing a unique perspective for the children and families to consider. The American Graduate project is important work and we are excited to be a part of it. Helping connect families to the thought of graduation, even as they register for kindergarten, is a great way to extend a family’s vision of what they want for their children.”
--Heather Girton, United Way of Central Indiana Kindergarten Round Up Event (WFYI Indianapolis, IN)
"I love the way you are handling the drop-out issue with American Graduate. You see it as a continuum, not just a high school issue, and you are helping people understand that.”
--Greg Landsman, Strive Partnership (CET Cincinnati, OH)