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American Graduate Day

Airs Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 1 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Chris Ganty, New York Giants defensive lineman, is just one of the celebrities participating in the “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen” public media initiative.

“American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen” is a public media initiative – supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – to help students stay on the path to on-time high school graduation and future success. AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY is an unprecedented full-day broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis with special celebrity guests, relevant spokespeople and compelling stories from the students themselves. Each half hour will feature a 23 minute segment about a national organization working to keep kids on track and in schools.

PARTICIPATE

Viewers will be able to participate in the broadcast by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook. Those interested in becoming an American Graduate Champion can also call in at 800-313-2477or log on to AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns. American Graduate is on Pinterest.

JuJu Chang, ABC News correspondent
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Above: JuJu Chang, ABC News correspondent

Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees first baseman
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Above: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees first baseman

With special guests including Michael Powell, representing America’s Promise Alliance, and PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez, the national television broadcast will air live on public television stations from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center on Sept. 22, 2012.

The event will feature 20 national organizations that are working with local public media stations to help young people stay in school and on track for on-time graduation, segments about local community groups, compelling stories from students themselves, and highlights from PBS national and local content – from PBS NewsHour and Need To Know to Jim Glassman’s "Ideas in Action" and "Tavis Smiley Reports: Too Important To Fail." The broadcast will also include the premiere of a new student film from Reel Works Teen Filmmaking and a preview of the upcoming FRONTLINE documentary, "Dropout Nation."

Maria Bartiromo (anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and host and managing editor of the nationally syndicated The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo), JuJu Chang (ABC News correspondent), Rehema Ellis (NBC Nightly News education correspondent), Susie Gharib (PBS Nightly Business Report co-anchor), Maria Hinojosa (Need To Know host), Stone Phillips (PBS NewsHour contributor), Bianna Golodryga (Good Morning America Weekend co-anchor), Rebecca Jarvis (host of CBS This Morning: Saturday), Bryant Gumbel (host of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel), and Ray Suarez (PBS NewsHour host), among others, will host the national television broadcast.

Celebrities taking part in the event include musician Carmine Appice; New York Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty; actor Tia Carrere; ballerina Misty Copeland; educator/author Erin Gruwell; actor Bridget Moynahan; former Dallas Cowboy linebacker Darrin Smith; New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira; actor Courtney Vance; NBC Nightly News anchor and Rock Center host Brian Williams; host and producer of Bloomberg EDU Jane Williams; philanthropist Elaine Wynn; and many more.

Additionally, actor Denzel Washington, singer John Legend, entrepreneur/philanthropist Russell Simmons, and actor Tony Danza will be featured in taped interviews discussing the dropout problem.

Video

American Graduate Day Promo

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Above: “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen” is a public media initiative – supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – to help students stay on the path to on-time high school graduation and future success. AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY is an unprecedented full-day broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis with special celebrity guests, relevant spokespeople and compelling stories from the students themselves. Each half hour will feature a 23 minute segment about a national organization working to keep kids on track and in schools.

Video

Teacher Voices: Why Do Students Drop Out?

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Above: Public media stations around the country have been asking teachers 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 'virtual teacher townhall' 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. Here you will find several teachers from around the country answering one question: What do you think is the single most important reason students drop out of school?

Video

Tavis Smiley Reports: Too Important To Fail

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Watch Tavis Smiley Reports: "Too Important to Fail" on PBS. See more from Tavis Smiley.

Above: Tavis goes behind the statistics to get to the heart of the matter: the struggle so many African American teenage males face when trying to stay in school and succeed.

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PBS NewsHour: What Keeps Kids In School?

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Watch What Keeps Kids in School? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Above: Fort Mill High School teens investigate how their school is able to keep its students coming back.

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What Motivates You To Stay In School?

Above: PBS Cincinnati asks students what motivates them to stay in school.

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Preview: Frontline: Dropout Nation

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Watch Dropout Nation Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Above: FRONTLINE spends a semester embedded inside Houston’s Sharpstown High School, a once notorious “dropout factory" that is part of an ambitious experiment aimed at turning around failing schools and cutting the dropout rate. A troubling and inspiring journey, Dropout Nation investigates the causes, challenges and potential solutions of a national emergency.

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NPR: The Cost Of Dropping Out

Above: Of all the problems this country faces in education, one of the most complicated, heart-wrenching and urgent is the dropout crisis. Nearly 1 million teenagers stop going to school every year. The impact of that decision is lifelong. And the statistics are stark: The unemployment rate for people without a high school diploma is nearly twice that of the general population. Over a lifetime, a high school dropout will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate and almost $1 million less than a college graduate. Dropouts are more likely to commit crimes, abuse drugs and alcohol, become teenage parents, live in poverty and commit suicide. Dropouts cost federal and state governments hundreds of billions of dollars in lost earnings, welfare and medical costs, and billions more for dropouts who end up in prison.