American Graduate Day 2012

Fact Sheet

Air date: 09/22/2012

American Graduate Day

Fact Sheet


Program Title: American Graduate Day

Airdate: Saturday, September 22, 2012 from 1:00-8:00 pm ET on public television

Program description: American Graduate Day  Presented by WNET and Public Radio Exchange (PRX), American Graduate Day is a multi-platform event featuring a live television broadcast, radio playlist with premiere documentaries, and participation from more than 20 national partner organizations, celebrities and athletes to spotlight solutions to the nation’s dropout crisis in which one in four students do not finish high school.  Viewers and listeners 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. With special guests including Michael Powell, representing America’s Promise Alliance, and PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez, the national television broadcast will air live on public television stations from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST on Sept. 22 (check local listings).

Participating public television stations around the country will take the live feed and have an opportunity to add local content to support the national broadcast.  American Graduate Day highlights community partners, educators and youth, who help keep at-risk students in school, across the nation. Each community partner profiled will provide viewers with information on how to become involved with American Graduate and the featured organizations.

Among the national organizations featured are: After School All-Stars America  SCORES, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, buildOn, CFY, City Year, Communities in Schools, Girls Inc., Harlem RBI, Horizons National, Jumpstart, Little Kids Rock, NYC Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism and School Engagement, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, United Way, YouthBuild and YMCA of the USA.

WNET will feature local organizations interviewed by NYC-ARTS personalities Christina Ha and Rafael Pi Roman including: 52nd Street Project, Change for Kids, Children’s Aid Society, Counseling in Schools, Good Shepherd Services, Mercy CollegeNJ After 3, PAL NYC, Partnership with Children, Rise Up and Walk, and Young Audiences NY. Additionally, the local segments will feature the following interviews:  Cami Anderson, Newark superintendent with NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider; David Saltzman, The Robin Hood Foundation with WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro; and Mark Valli, president and ceo, New Jersey After 3, with anchor Steve Adubato.

Maria Bartiromo (anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and host and managing editor of the nationally syndicated The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo), JuJu Chang (ABC News correspondent), Rehema Ellis (NBC Nightly News education correspondent), Susie  Gharib (PBS Nightly Business Report co-anchor), Maria Hinojosa (Need to Know host), Stone Phillips (PBS NewsHour contributor), Bianna Golodryga (Good Morning America Weekend co-anchor), Rebecca Jarvis (host of CBS This Morning: Saturday), Bryant Gumbel (host of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel), Zoraida Sambolin (host of CNN Early Start) and Ray Suarez (PBS NewsHour host), among others, will host the national television broadcast.


Celebrities taking part in the event include musician Carmine Appice; New York Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty; actor Tia Carrere; ballerina Misty Copeland; educator/author Erin Gruwell; actor Hill Harper; actor Bridget Moynahan; former Dallas Cowboy linebacker Darrin Smith; New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira; actor Courtney Vance; NBC Nightly News anchor and Rock Center host Brian Williams; host and producer of Bloomberg EDU Jane Williams; philanthropist Elaine Wynn; and many more.  Additionally, actor Denzel Washington, singer John Legend, entrepreneur/philanthropist Russell Simmons, and actor Tony Danza will be featured in taped interviews discussing the dropout problem.  Public television stations representing more than 50 percent of U.S. households will broadcast American Graduate Day with many including local content alongside the national features.

Educational Outreach:  Local stations will have the ability to customize the program by highlighting local community partners. Across the country, stations are leveraging the power of public media to highlight issues pertaining to high school graduation in a multi-month effort.

Social Media: WNET/THIRTEEN will live-tweet alongside the official American Graduate account during the American Graduate Day broadcast from The Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center, promoting discussion of the topics addressed on-air and rallying support and new Twitter followers for the featured organizations.  Reactions and discussion on social media will play an important role in the live broadcast, as Twitter responses using the official #AmGrad hashtag will regularly be featured on-air. Local high school students will tweet opinions and reactions to the broadcast from an American Graduate sub-account on Twitter, under WNET/THIRTEEN’s supervision.  Al Letson is social media host.

American Graduate Facebook and Twitter accounts will continue to raise awareness of the drop-out crisis, while inspiring followers on social media to take action to help out and spread the word about the initiative via personalized tweets and Facebook posts.

Production Credits: American Graduate Day is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET. Cathe Neukum is producer. Colleen Goodhue is associate producer.  Judy Moy is production manager.

Funding Credits: American Graduate Day is part of “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen,” a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help students stay on the path to on-time high school graduation and future success.