American Graduate Specials

School Desegregation in Southern Nevada
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Awarded a 21st Annual Communicator Award of Distinction.

Las Vegas was once known as “The Mississippi of the West” and the process of desegregation was complex and controversial. School Desegregation in Southern Nevada explores the history of the integration of schools in Las Vegas during the period of the 1960s through the 1980s. It tells the stories of many courageous and dedicated community members.The program is narrated by Dr. Sonya Horsford and features numerous local archival images.

Dr. Sonya Horsford 
A proud Las Vegas native and mother of three school-aged children, Dr. Horsford is an Associate Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. Her research examines the history of educational inequality in America with a focus on community-based strategies for education leadership and reform.

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American Graduate: Jessica’s Story
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In an effort to help our own students to stay in school and create better futures, Vegas PBS has spearheaded the “It Pays to Stay” campaign. The campaign spotlights local residents who tell their stories of how they were able to stay in school and find success. American Graduate: Jessica’s Story is one of these stories, featuring local student Jessica Suarez. Suarez was homeless and a dropout, but due to the caring and efforts of the staff of Chaparral High School and Communities In Schools, along with Suarez’s hard work, she turned her life around. She graduated high school last year and is now taking college courses.

180 Days: Hartsville
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Experience a year in the life of a small South Carolina town exploring what it takes to meet the needs of its students during a massive reform effort. From the state’s largest corporation to one of its smallest Boy Scout troops, this community’s combined efforts have turned around test scores and graduation rates in less than five years. Is Hartsville a model or an outlier in the search for solutions to close the achievement gap? And what lessons can your community learn from Hartsville’s journey?

Become a Champion Let's Make It Happen

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Vegas PBS Wins Awards for American Graduate. Learn more.


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