Nationwide, more than 1 million students drop out of high school every year. If that trend continues, the U.S. will have to deal with more than $3 trillion in lost wages, productivity and taxes over the next decade. Recognizing a need to help students stay on the path to high school graduation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has launched the American Graduate initiative to bring public media together with key community stakeholders to improve student engagement and raise academic achievement.
As part of the American Graduate initiative, NCME recently awarded grants to 41 public television and radio stations to help them engage their communities, catalyze local efforts, and provide critical resources to help kids stay in school. Grantee stations expect to partner with as many as 200 local community organizations, including schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, United Way and other key stakeholders, to promote awareness of the causes and ramifications of the dropout crisis; mobilize community members to support students; and promote pathways to helpful resources in the community.
The grants are supporting stations like Colorado Public Television, which is tackling the disproportionately high dropout rates within the LGBTQ community. Also, WSKG in Binghamton, NY, with the support of the local Kettering Foundation National Issues Forum , is addressing a discouraging 39% graduation rate for its black students. Likewise, Mississippi Public Broadcasting and the Radio Campesina Network in Phoenix, AZ, are planning educational programs, community partnerships, online content, mentorships and other creative solutions to remedy the dropout crisis.
Stay up-to-date on the initiative by “Liking” it on Facebook and following it on Twitter, @Amerigrad. You can read more about American Graduate engagement activities, and locate all the NCME grantees, with the interactive map below.
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