American Graduate Day 2014
American Graduate Day 2014 returned for its third consecutive year. Wes Moore, best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran, hosted the all-day broadcast. Vegas PBS was chosen as one of four PBS stations across the country to provide a live, national, seven-minute remote focusing on a specific area related to high school dropout prevention. Hosted by local news anchor Olivia Fierro, the Vegas PBS segment featured Dave Wilson, former principal of Chaparral High School who was instrumental in the high school’s turnaround success; Jennifer Lopardo, Communities in Schools of Nevada on-site coordinator; and Jessica Suarez, a Chaparral High School student. Watch more videos.
Wes Moore, host American Graduate Day 2014 was a live, all-day multiplatform broadcast on public television stations around the country.
American Graduate Day is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen - a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help more kids stay on the path to graduation. Hosted by bestselling author and education advocate Wes Moore, the third annual broadcast and online event celebrated the exceptional work of individuals and groups in the local community and around the country whose daily heroics help youth to stay on track to earn diplomas. A special goal for this year was to recognize one million American Graduate Champions: those individuals volunteering their time, talent, or other resources in their own communities.
This year’s broadcast event was the same format, with some exciting new elements. Divided into 14 half-hour blocks, it featured a mix of live breaks and pre-taped partner segments highlighting how community organizations provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools to promote higher graduation rates in communities across the country. The programming themes were Early Education, Caring Consistent Adults, More and Better Learning, Special Needs Communities, STEAM Programs, Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement and College and Career Readiness. Within these programming blocks, local public media stations had the opportunity to customize the national feed with a locally-produced live or pre-taped six-minute segment. This year also featured live entertainment and performances by The Raise Up Project and Trenton Public Schools Marching Band, and “Stories of Champions,” a new series of 14 profile pieces spotlighting individuals across the country who are taking an active role in helping kids earn high school diplomas.
Many national organizations were featured, including: 4-H, America’s Promise Alliance, Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Citizen Schools, City Year, Exploring the Arts, FIRST Robotics, Gateway to College National Network, Junior Achievement, My Brother’s Keeper, National Academy Foundation, The Raise Up Project, Reach Out and Read, Reading is Fundamental, Roadtrip Nation, Special Olympics, Samsung Electronics North America, Taco Bell Foundation, United Way and VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto, Juju Chang (ABC), Bianna Golodryga (Yahoo!), Rehema Ellis (NBC), Hari Sreenivasan (PBS NewsHour), Elmo (Sesame Street), Ingrid Michaelson, Gen. Colin Powell and Alma Powell, Edward James Olmos, CC Sabathia, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Miral Kotb, Andy Grammer, Brian Williams (NBC), his wife Jane Williams and their children Allison Williams (Girls) and Doug Williams (YES Network) were among the many personalities and guests scheduled to appear.