Celebrating Graduates for 50 Years
This month in Nevada tens of thousands of caps and gowns will be rented, thousands of auditoriums and stadiums will be decorated, and hundreds of graduation speeches will be delivered. Nearly every graduation speech will praise the hard work of the graduates, and celebrate the support of parents, teachers and family. In each of our 50 years, Vegas PBS has played a supporting role in these graduations.
On our first day of broadcasting in 1968, Vegas PBS provided early childhood school readiness programs like Mister Rogers' Neighborhoodand The Friendly Giant. 50 years later, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood plus Sesame Street, Arthur, Dinosaur Trainand others fill this role. Today, children’s programs are also offered on a separate 24-hour channel and are available for online streaming. They also include interactive games, mobile phone apps, books, and classroom workshop materials. Grants allowed Vegas PBS to conduct more than 800 parent engagement workshops that extended these programs and served nearly 185,000 parents and children last year.
Also in 1968 under the guidance of Clark County School District Assistant Superintendent – and future Nevada Governor – Kenny Guinn, Vegas PBS enlisted career and technical education students to produce daily live instructional classes in math, science, arts and culture, and foreign languages for broadcast on Channel 10. Today, Vegas PBS delivers online “digital learning objects” to homes and schools from a vast library of curriculum-indexed instructional media offerings for teachers in public, private, charter and home schools. These materials received an astonishing 20 million statewide views last year.
We supported graduating adults as well. More than 3,600 adults earned an online high school diploma through our programs. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, and teachers completed more than 12,000 continuing education courses offered by Vegas PBS to maintain their professional certifications. These career and technical programs are vital to insuring a vibrant local economy with a well-trained workforce.
This effort will receive a big boost this year as we kickoff a multi-year national initiative on career and technical education. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) awarded Vegas PBS over $180,000 to support providers of technical education and career readiness in Southern Nevada. The American Graduate: Getting to Work Initiative will engage with community partners to assess middle-skill workforce challenges and opportunities and produce media content supporting the essential skills needed for students and workers ages 16 to 26.
From pre-school to career, Vegas PBS carries out our mission to “educate and empower people” in formal tuition-based partnerships with most of the degree-granting and certification authorities in Nevada. Your annual support funds the informal education programs on Channel 10 from news and public affairs, to science and history, or cooking and home repair. Despite dramatic changes in technology and viewing devices, our 50-year commitment to nonprofit, nonpartisan, noncommercial, education thrives because viewers like you become members. So in May, we celebrate you as a vital force behind all the graduates your investment in public television helped cross the stage this month.