American Graduate

American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen

"American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen” is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help local communities across the country address the dropout crisis. CPB, in partnership with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working with public media stations in 20 "Hub Markets" where the dropout crisis is most acute to raise awareness of the issue and coordinate action with community partners – all with the goal of helping students stay on course to graduate from high school.

American Graduate: The Tennessee Story

A documentary developed to raise awareness of, and bring attention to, the dropout crisis Tennessee is facing. Co-produced by WCTE, Cookeville; East Tennessee PBS, Knoxville and WKNO, Memphis and is hosted by Tennessee First Lady, Crissy Haslam.  It features three different stories of impact that raises awareness of the dropout crisis Tennessee is facing and the impact that crisis has on individuals, communities and the state.  The segments follow efforts across the state beginning in East Tennessee with a look at the impact of Loudon Co.'s Graduation Coach, Sandra Towns...then to Middle Tennessee where viewers have a chance to hear the story of Nashville Attorney, Cynthia Fitzgerald, and the work she is doing with her ACT prep program, In Full Motion, aimed at inner city youth and finally ending up in Memphis, where college freshman, Christopher Dean, shares his determination and those of fellow classmates at Booker T. Washington High School that lead them to graduation in 2011 and the attention of The White House.

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The WCTE American Graduate Student Video Contest

Congratulations to Everyone who participated in our Student Video Contest.

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Additional Resources

Here you will find links to websites and Regional information regarding Literacy, Reading, and Education.


The AMERICAN GRADUATE: Let's Make it Happen Initiative

  • Public television and radio stations in 61 markets – including 20 “hubs” and 41 additional stations that received grants through the National Center for Media Engagement (NCME) – with above average dropout rates will develop local partnerships and collaborations to engage at-risk youth, as well as create new content to increase awareness of the issue and best practices that parents, teachers and others can access.
  • In addition, some of public radio and public television’s most recognized and impactful programs will focus greater attention on the dropout crisis, including causes and best practices to stem the tide while engaging diverse communities to weigh in on the topic, including:

o PBS NewsHour will expand Student Reporting Labs to challenge students to report, problem solve and investigate important topics.

o StoryCorps, the award-winning public radio oral history project, will launch a National Teachers Initiative to collect the stories of America’s educators and also to develop a new, story-based curriculum to help students develop literacy skills. StoryCorps will be launched in three cities in the fall of 2011.

o Roadtrip Nation, the public television series and outreach movement that engages and trains youth, will develop tool kits, locally-customized station community portals and conduct road trips and interviews to Hub markets. WCTE is one of the 41 additional stations that received grants through the National Center for Media Engagement (NCME) and is currently working with East Tennessee PBS, WKNO, First Lady of Tennessee Crissy Haslam and the Department of Education Center for Dropout Prevention.

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WCTE depends upon the support of our membership to produce and broadcast quality programming like this. Please help us continue this 30+ year tradition of community involvement by contributing to WCTE today.