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American Graduate - Stories of Champions

We worked alongside five other Florida stations to help communities address the high school dropout crisis. 92% of students believe they will graduate from high school, but only 7 out of 10 will actually graduate. They have the will. They just need our support to find the way.

American Graduate Day was a live, multi-platform broadcast that leveraged the power and reach of public media to focus on organizations and individuals keeping kids on the path to graduation.

American Graduate Champion: Edna Fields Bailey

Edna Fields Bailey of OASIS Middle School is an American Graduate Champion.

American Graduate Champion: Kenny Irby

Kenny Irby of Pinellas Co. featured on American Graduate “Stories of Champions."

American Graduate Champion: Kelley Beall

Kelley Beall of Hillsborough County Public Schools is an American Graduate Champion.

American Graduate Champion: Melissa Erickson

Melissa Erickson of Hillsborough Co. featured on American Graduate “Stories of Champions"

American Graduate Champion: Terry Boehm

Terry Boehm of the Pinellas Education Foundation is an American Graduate Champion.

American Graduate Champion: Robert Vicari

Robert Vicari of Lakewood, FL, featured on American Graduate “Stories of Champions"

A Very Special Thank You To Our Partners

2014 Projects

Florida’s Kids & Alcohol Town Hall 2014: Since 2005, FLORIDA’S KIDS & ALCOHOL has addressed the issue of underage drinking in the state of Florida. The town hall series provides an in-depth discussion with parents, teachers, officials, and youth on the harmful effects. Designed to increase community awareness, the yearly discussion includes ideas for preventing youth from using alcohol. Florida’s Kids & Alcohol Town Hall 2014 took place on March 20 at the Digitorium at St. Petersburg College.

2013 Projects

Community Cinema screening of THE GRADUATES/LOS GRADUADOS: THE GRADUATES/LOS GRADUADOS explores the roots of the Latino dropout crisis through the eyes of six inspiring young students around the United States. The film offers first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators, and community leaders. Presented by WEDU PBS and ITVS Community Cinema, THE GRADUATES/LOS GRADUADOS was a free film screening event that took place at WEDU PBS on November 7.

Florida’s Kids & Alcohol Town Hall 2013 March 21, 2013: Since 2005, FLORIDA’S KIDS & ALCOHOL has addressed the issue of underage drinking in the state of Florida. The town hall series provides an in-depth discussion with parents, teachers, officials, and youth on the harmful effects. Designed to increase community awareness, the yearly discussion includes ideas for preventing youth from using alcohol. Florida’s Kids & Alcohol Town Hall 2013 took place on March 21 at The Palladium.

2012 Projects

NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs project in partnership with WEDU September, 2012: How does violence affect students’ ability to learn? That’s what St. Petersburg eighth-grader De’Qonton Davis and his classmates set out to investigate as part of the NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs project in partnership with PBS station WEDU in Tampa. The students produced a unique video report that they hope President Obama will see.

Workshop Presentation at the Florida Virtual School Conference September, 2012: Rachel Morrison, Station Relations Manager, PBS Education and Gail Taylor, Director of Educational Services, WEDU, teamed up for a workshop presentation at the Florida Virtual School Conference in Orlando on September 20th. The focus of the session was Florida PBS LearningMedia and how the service could be incorporated into lesson planning for virtual learners. The presentation was well received by FLVS educators.

American Graduate Day: September 22, 2012 September, 2012: American Graduate Day, a multi-platform event featuring a live television broadcast and participation from over 20 national partner organizations to spotlight solutions to the nation’s dropout crisis. Viewers will be encouraged to become an “American Graduate Champion” by offering their time, donating resources, connecting with the organizations on social media or learning more about the crisis. WEDU added local content to support the national broadcast and will highlight community partners who help students stay on the path to graduation. Each community partner profiled will provide viewers with information on how to become involved with American Graduate and the featured organizations. Broadcasted nationally from The Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City, American Graduate Day premiered Saturday, September 22.

Up Close: American Graduate Special September, 2012: In September’s episode of Up Close, host Cathy Unruh gathers a panel of Tampa Bay Area experts and educators. We’re looking at ways to decrease dropouts and help teens become enthusiastic learners on their way to graduation. Watch

Maya & Miguel Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off September, 2012: Visitors to the Glazer Children’s Museum met everyone’s favorite PBS twins, Maya and Miguel, at the Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off on September 4th. The event, produced through a partnership between WEDU and the Glazer Museum, featured a screening of a Maya and Miguel episode and fun activities for children and families.

Book reading at Polk County Public Library August, 2012: Children listen to a Martha Speaks book in the PBS Raising Readers Library Corner at the Polk County Public Library, Bartow, Florida. The library corner, donated to the Polk County Library Cooperative by WEDU/WUSF as a part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, is designed to provide children ages 2 to 8 and their families with fun and innovative materials and activities based on a literacy framework encompassing skills such as letter recognition, print awareness and vocabulary instruction. These skills help prepare children for learning and establish a solid foundation for school success and graduation.

Florida PTA Leadership Convention July, 2012: WEDU hosted an exhibit at the annual Florida PTA Leadership Convention to provide information on the dropout crisis in Florida and the wide variety of PBS educational resources available for students, parents and teachers. The convention was held at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor, FL. Sid the Science Kid VPK Summer Program July, 2012: More than 1,000 students enrolled in the Hillsborough County school district’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Summer Program enjoyed six weeks of Sid the Science Kid lessons and activities focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) topics such as tools and measurement and environmental awareness. The summer program curriculum was created through a collaboration among Hillsborough County Public Schools, The Jim Henson Company and WEDU. The program encourages school readiness and success in STEM education as pathways to graduation.

AMERICAN GRADUATE: LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN IS A PUBLIC MEDIA INITIATIVE, SUPPORTED BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING (CPB), TO HELP STUDENTS STAY ON THE PATH TO GRADUATION AND FUTURE SUCCESS. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT AMERICANGRADUATE.ORG