Public Broadcaster Targets 'Dropout Crisis'

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WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis says its second annual American Graduate Day this weekend aims to shed light on the state's "high school dropout crisis." The organization says it will present 13 hours of local and national programming focusing on helping Indiana's at-risk students. WFYI President Lloyd Wright, who was also joined by Indianapolis Star Education Reform Reporter Scott Elliott during a recent edition of Inside INdiana Business Television, discussed the need to engage the community.

September 27, 2013

News Release

Every year, nearly one million school-aged children in the US do not graduate high school with their peers. A troubling statistic, especially given that high school graduates are more likely to be employed, make higher taxable incomes, and generate jobs than those without a high school diploma. Once more, high school graduates are less likely to engage in criminal behavior or receive social services. Simply put, dropping out not only makes it harder for young people to succeed in life, but also leads to the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in productivity each year.

In an effort to engage the Central Indiana community around the dropout crisis, WFYI Public Media will present its second annual American Graduate Day 2013 — a live multiplatform event designed to keep students on the path to graduation — Saturday, September 28, beginning at 11 am on WFYI 1 Public Television. Through the power and reach of public media, communities across the county will be invited to take an active role and become an "American Graduate Champion" for local youth by volunteering their time, talent, or other resources.

As part of this landmark event, WFYI Public Media will present 13 hours of local and national documentaries and public affairs programs that are designed to keep Indiana’s at-risk students in school, and help improve our community’s graduation rate. American Graduate Day 2013 is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, and is made possible by the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB).

American Graduate Day 2013 will utilize WFYI Public Media’s on-air, online and community resources to tell the story of how communities are working through parents, teachers, students, and business and community leaders to make a difference in the lives of young people. The event will feature participation from more than 40 local and national partner organizations, including United Way of Central Indiana, Day Nursery Association, Indianapolis Public Library, Family Development Services, EdPower, Ivy Tech, MSD Washington Township, City of Indianapolis, MSD Warren Township, and more.

"As one of Indiana’s leading destinations for lifelong enrichment, WFYI Public Media is proud to dedicate more than 13 hours of its program schedule on Saturday, Sept. 28 to help address our nation’s high school dropout crisis," said Lloyd Wright, President and CEO, WFYI Public Media. "It's our hope that as Central Indiana residents watch these powerful programs on-air and online, that they will be persuaded to take action and become an American Graduate Champion by dedicating their time, donating resources, connecting with organizations on social media, or learning more about the crisis and its impact on the Central Indiana community."

Individuals can volunteer to serve as education champions in Central Indiana by calling 1-800-313-2477 or visit AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns. Viewers will be encouraged to participate in the event by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter (#AmGrad) and on Facebook.

WFYI Public Media will kick off its second annual American Graduate Day at 11 am with Graduating Indiana 2013 — a one-hour local town hall that will present viewers with a clearer understanding of the policies and practices that support school success and opportunities for change. Hosted by Lloyd Wright, President and CEO of WFYI Public Media, the program features three panels of experts addressing the transition process Indiana’s children will encounter as they embark on elementary school, middle school & high school, and post high school opportunities. Additional program highlights will include August to June (airs 9/28 @ 8 pm, WFYI 1), a film that celebrates the values our nation is on the brink of losing in the single-minded pursuit of higher test scores; Who Cares About Kelsey? (airs 9/28 @ 8p, WFYI 1), the powerful story of one student’s transformation from a defiant and disruptive student to a motivated and self-confident young woman; Room to Breathe (airs 9/28 @ 9 pm, WFYI 1), a surprising story of transformation as struggling kids in one San Francisco public middle school are introduced to the practice of mindful meditation; and Is School Enough? (airs 9/28 @ 10 pm, WFYI 1), a documentary and transmedia project that showcases how young people are leveraging digital media to learn, explore interests, connect with others and change the world around them. A complete schedule of programs for American Graduate Day 2013 can be found at http://amgrad.wfyi.org

About WFYI Public Media:

For more than four decades, WFYI Public Media has served as a center of discovery for all ages. WFYI’s diverse public radio and television programs and services provide a foundation for early learning, inspire curiosity and serve as a catalyst for lifelong learning. To learn more about WFYI Public Media’s programs and educational services, visit the station’s Website — www.wfyi.org , “"ike" us on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter (via @wfyi and @wfyinews).

About AMERICAN GRADUATE

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is helping local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. 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, such as the dropout rate. In addition to national programming, more than 75 public radio and television stations in 33 states have launched on-the-ground efforts working with community and at risk youth to keep students on-track to high school graduation. More than 1000 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate, and CPB is working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

Source: WFYI