News releases generated by FPBS and/or its partner stations
Florida’s association of public broadcasters recognized four members of the legislature for their important roles in supporting public broadcasting this past session.
Winners of the 2021 Florida Public Media Champion Award include:
- Senator Doug Broxson (Pensacola)
- Senator Audrey Gibson (Jacksonville)
- Representative Randy Fine (Palm Bay)
- Representative Jay Trumbull (Panama City)
“On behalf of my colleagues in public media across the great state of Florida, I’m proud to congratulate the four recipients of the Florida Public Media Champion Award for 2021,” said Randy Wright, General Manager of WUFT in Gainesville-Ocala and chair of the organization.
“Senators Broxson and Gibson, and Representatives Fine and Trumbull, played significant parts in highlighting the extraordinary public safety and educational roles public media play in Florida.”
“We’re proud to recognize them for their valuable contributions to the communities we all serve,” Wright said.
Florida Public Media represents 24 public radio and television stations throughout the state.
The annual award is given to honor those who have championed support for public broadcasting in the legislature.
It is inscribed with a quote by the legendary Fred Rogers: “Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”
Past winners have included:
- Senator Rob Bradley (Orange Park)
- Senator Manny Diaz (Hialeah Gardens)
- Senator Kathleen Passidomo (Naples)
- Senator Kelli Stargel (Lakeland)
- Representative Travis Cummings (Orange Park)
- Representative Heather Fitzenhagen (Ft. Myers)
- Representative Jake Raburn (Valrico)
- Representative Josie Tomkow (Auburndale)
- Representative Susan Valdes (Tampa)
WUSF News was named radio Station of the Year by the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists for its journalism produced during 2020.
The team also collected six other first place awards (General Assignment, General Assignment (Long), Education (Single), Health Reporting (Single), Political, Government, Election Reporting (Single), and Political, Government, Election Reporting (Station) in the contest that includes commercial and public media broadcasters from across Florida.
Other Florida public radio stations won numerous first place awards, including:
WLRN – Miami. Continuing Coverage, Team Coverage, Series (Light), Series (Franchise), Feature Reporting (Cultural & Historical), Investigative Reporting, Individual Achievement (Writing), Individual Achievement and (Digital Journalist).
WGCU – Ft. Myers/Naples. Feature Reporting (Hard), Sports Reporting, and Traffic Reporting.
WMFE – Orlando. Digital Programming, Public Affairs, and Health Reporting (Series).
WFSU – Tallahassee. Environmental Reporting (Series), and Use of Sound.
WUFT – Gainesville/Ocala. Feature Reporting (Light).
Tallahassee, FL. April 12, 2021 — Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International (SRI) announce the release of their new research Mahsi’choo for the Info! Molly of Denali Teaches Children about Informational Text.*
Molly of Denali is an award-winning animated series, produced by GBH Boston that airs on PBS stations throughout Florida. It follows the adventures of curious and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who lives in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. Recently renewed for a second season, it is the first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character.
Molly of Denali involves Alaska Native voices in all aspects of the production, both on screen and behind the scenes. Informational text, the underlying literacy curriculum, is integrated into the series’ episodes, games, app, website, and assets for educators, families, and kids. Informational text—oral, written, or visual text designed to inform—is essential to navigating daily life, and it includes activities such as reading a map, critically engaging with websites, and posing questions to an expert.
Two separate rigorous studies found that children from low-income households who were given Molly of Denali videos, digital games, and activities were better able to solve problems using informational text. Most children have access to stories and other narrative texts but little to no access to informational text. Yet informational text is a fundamental part of literacy. Comprehending informational text paves the way for future learning, particularly in social studies and the sciences, and success in life.
“In a year where children have been forced to learn through screen time, there has been a great deal of debate on what is good programming and bad programming,” said Tasha Weinstein, education and engagement manager at WFSU in Tallahassee.
“Knowing what is quality content is really important and we now know that screen time can work when you have effective programming.”
WFSU has organized “Molly of Denali”-inspired workshops in its viewing area and collaborated with the Muskogee Tribe to create a virtual museum that links the Muskogee with the native Americans of Alaska.
Ten families were selected, and each week included a different area of study, including maps, traditions, biographies and animals. Kelling said she was thrilled to take the proven content of the TV program and put it to use in the community through the virtual museums.
To see the virtual museums visit, https://wfsu.org/education/molly-of-denali-virtual-museum/. For more information on the study, visit edc.org/infotext. For more information about WFSU visit, https://wfsu.org/television/.
Two nine-week studies included 263 first-grade children from low-income households across the country. The study team randomly assigned each child to receive either a tablet loaded with Molly of Denali resources (treatment condition) or a tablet that blocked access to Molly of Denali resources (control condition).
- Problem-solving: Access to Molly of Denali digital resources improved first-grade children’s ability to use informational text to solve problems, for example, choosing the right book or website to answer a question or using an index to find a topic in the book.
- High return for minimal time investment: Children benefited from the Molly of Denali resources after using them for only about one hour per week, on average, over nine weeks—similar to the time that children might access educational media at home. Many educational programs require more time or engagement before learning benefits are seen.
- More screen time = more learning: Children who used Molly of Denali resources for longer periods showed greater learning benefits. Findings demonstrate that more exposure to high-quality educational content results in greater learning gains.
- The power of replication: The second study was a replication of the first study, adding further evidence of the impact of the Molly of Denali resources. Although replication is a critical part of the scientific process, few findings in education research are confirmed by conducting the same study a second time.
Molly of Denali has received much critical acclaim, including a Peabody Award, a Television Critics Award and a Kidscreen Award, and has a television reach of over 42 million people1 and over 450K users on PBS KIDS digital platforms each month.2 Now Molly of Denali also has the backing of two studies that demonstrate children’s learning.
The studies were commissioned as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The Ready To Learn Initiative brings educational television and digital media resources to children ages 2–8 and aims to promote early science and literacy learning.
The studies, conducted during the pandemic, pioneered innovations in remote data collection with families across the nation, providing evidence that research remains possible when in-person visits are not an option. The Molly of Denali content also provided a free resource to help develop children’s literacy skills to families experiencing pandemic-related disruptions in schooling.
“Never before has there been a study of children’s media supporting young children’s use of informational text to solve problems,” said Shelley Pasnik, EDC senior vice president and principal investigator of the joint EDC-SRI research team. “That we were able to see positive results not once but twice during a year of great educational turmoil makes the case for providing all families with quality early learning opportunities.”
“This research shows the power of well-designed educational media,” said Joy Lorenzo Kennedy, EDC’s lead author. “Not only does Molly of Denali have an engaging storyline and compelling cast of characters, it also embeds informational text in ways that improves children’s learning outcomes.”
Claire Christensen, lead author for SRI, added, “This research comes at a critical time when parents and educators are searching for guidance about how best to support children’s learning when they can’t be in the classroom.”
This study is one of a series of Ready To Learn Initiative studies demonstrating the impact of educational media on children’s learning. The full report is available online at edc.org/infotext
Education Development Center (EDC) is a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. Since 1958, it has been a leader in designing, implementing, and evaluating powerful and innovative programs in more than 80 countries around the world.
About SRI International
SRI International is an independent, nonprofit research center that works with clients to take the most advanced R&D from the laboratory to the marketplace. For more than 70 years, SRI has led the discovery and design of groundbreaking products, technologies, and industries—from Siri and online banking to medical ultrasound, cancer treatments, and much more.
About MOLLY OF DENALI
Molly of Denali is co-produced by GBH and its animation partner, Atomic Cartoons, in association with CBC Kids. Funding for Molly of Denali™ is provided by a Ready To Learn Grant from the U.S. Department of Education; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People; and by public television viewers. Additional funding made possible with the participation of the Province of British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit. Corporate funding provided by the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan and Target. Alaska Native collaborators: Adeline P. Raboff, Dewey Kk’ołeyo Hoffman, Luke Titus, Princess Daazhraii Johnson and Rochelle Adams. Language Advisors: Adeline P. Raboff, Lance X’unei Twitchell, Lorraine David, Marie Meade and Marjorie Tahbone. Informational text advisor: Nell K. Duke, University of Michigan.
About the Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching children living in low-income households. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach, and research on educational effectiveness.
Patrick Yack. email@example.com
1Nielsen NPOWER L+7, 7/15/2019–7/12/2020, 50% unif, 1+ mins., P2+, K2-11
2Google Analytics, January 2020–December 2020
The contents of Molly of Denali were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. U295A150003, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* Mahsi’choo (Mah-see-cho): “Thank You” in Gwich’in.
WMFE PRESIDENT ELECTED TO NPR BOARD OF DIRECTORS ERIKA PULLEY-HAYES FILLS THE POSITION OF MEMBER DIRECTOR
ORLANDO — Erika Pulley-Hayes, president and CEO of WMFE/WMFV in Orlando, has been elected to the NPR Board of Directors.
Pulley-Hayes joined WMFE/WMFV in January after a long tenure at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where she served as radio vice president.
“I’m excited to serve on the NPR board at this moment in time,” Pulley-Hayes said. “Journalism is essential to our democracy, and I am committed to ensuring the news and information NPR provides to our country remains strong.”
Pulley-Hayes was elected Sept. 11 to fill an unexpired term vacancy on the board due to the departure of Wonya Lucas, former CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, according to Current. The board’s Governance Committee nominated Pulley-Hayes to a three-year term beginning in November, subject to election by the network’s membership in a ballot that opens next month.
The NPR Board of Directors sets the policies and overall direction for NPR management, monitors the performance of NPR, and provides financial oversight. NPR’s 23-member Board of Directors is comprised of 12 Member Directors who are managers of NPR Member stations and are elected to the Board by their fellow Member stations, 9 Public Directors, the NPR Foundation Chair, and the NPR President & CEO.
Erika Pulley-Hayes joined WMFE/WMFV in January 2020 as president and CEO after a long tenure at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) where she served as radio vice president. In this capacity, she provided strategic leadership to the public radio system by developing initiatives designed to drive innovation and advance public media service. She has worked to enhance local service and sustainability by identifying new business opportunities and operating models that engage audiences across platforms and increase organizational capacity. She was instrumental in the development of journalism collaborations among public media organizations in local regions. She was also responsible for developing the policies that govern CPB’s Community Service Grant program which, as public media’s largest funding source, supports over 400 organizations operating public radio stations nationwide.
Erika began her career at a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, where she worked under the general counsel and corporate secretary. In this role, she worked closely with the board of directors, negotiated corporate agreements for commercial transactions, and ensured political and regulatory compliance. Erika later managed legal operations of a small clinical research organization overseeing risk management, corporate housekeeping and commercial contracts generating approximately $40 million annually. Erika serves on the board of directors of 826 National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students improve their expository and creative writing skills in nine cities across the United States. She is also a member of the Alliance of Women in Media. Erika holds an MBA and an MS in Nonprofit Management.
About Community Communications Inc.:
Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Ocala and surrounding counties. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information.
NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
# # #
Orange County Public Schools is partnering with the University of Central Florida to establish a strategic alliance for educational programming to air on WUCF TV. This collaboration will directly benefit students beginning June 4, 2020. Through this partnership the district can reach school-aged children with media content tied to their educational standards. It will be available to view on the local PBS station WUCF 24.5.
The enrichment opportunities will be delivered through a series of instructional videos produced by Orange County teachers along with supplemental content provided by WUCF. The first series of videos will be geared toward children in kindergarten through second grade. The videos will complement the workbook materials that all OCPS students in K-2 are receiving for summer enrichment.
“We are excited about this opportunity to provide meaningful instruction to students over the summer and throughout the year. Utilizing our talented teachers to present the standards-aligned content guarantees the rigor required for student mastery and it offers parents a valuable resource to assist with their child’s learning,” Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said.
The programming content will consist of a wide variety of educational materials including, but not limited to, at-home learning instruction, school and district events, and superintendent and district leadership news conferences.
“WUCF is proud to partner with Orange County Public Schools to support families as an extension of the classroom,” said Dr. Phil Hoffman, WUCF executive director. “Schools, teachers and students are facing unique challenges, and WUCF is happy to help play a critical role in bringing a learning environment into the homes of our Central Florida families.”
Conversion will expand local journalism and bring 13 new shows to Northeast Florida airwaves; station will be known as WJCT News 89.9
Jacksonville, Fla. – June 4, 2020 – WJCT today announced it will convert 89.9 FM, its flagship radio station, to an all news/talk format, and the station will be identified as WJCT News 89.9 effective July 13, 2020.
This conversion will expand WJCT’s local journalism with additional midday newscasts of local reporting by the organization’s news team. Thirteen new national programs from a range of producers will also be added to the station’s weekly schedule.
This announcement follows a period of sustained audience growth across all of WJCT News’ platforms, including on 89.9 FM, online at wjct.org and on the WJCT app. WJCT News covers stories throughout Northeast Florida; shares breaking news from partner news outlets such as The Florida Times-Union, News4Jax and the Jacksonville Daily Record; and produces original digital media such as the magazine ADAPT and the Odd Ball and VOIDCAST podcasts.
The average number of weekly listeners consuming news has continued to grow recently, the continuation of a long-term trend. WJCT anticipates further growth across its platforms, as consumers seek trustworthy coverage of topics of local and national importance like the coronavirus, hurricane season and the 2020 election season.
“The growing need for sources of news and information that are deeply thoughtful, unfailing in the pursuit of truth and universally available has never been clearer than it is now,” said David McGowan, President & CEO of WJCT. “The Jacksonville area in Northeast Florida, a region with an ever-more diverse citizenry, requires a healthy range of news sources to inform critical decisions about our shared future.”
New programs coming to 89.9 FM starting July 13 include the following; to view the updated schedule, visit wjct.org/radiopreview:
- PBS NewsHour from PBS, every Monday through Friday at 9 p.m.
- Think from KERA in Texas, every Monday through Friday at 10 p.m.
- 1A Plus from WAMU in Washington and NPR, every Monday through Friday at midnight
- The Pulse from WHYY in Philadelphia, Fridays at 2 a.m., and Sundays at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
- Innovation Hub from PRX and WGBH in Boston, Saturdays at 4 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Science Friday Weekend from WNYC in New York, Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m.
- Fresh Air Weekend from NPR, Saturdays at 7 p.m.
- New Yorker Radio Hour from The New Yorker and WNYC in New York, Saturdays at 8 p.m., midnight and 3 a.m., and Sundays at 10 a.m.
- PRX’s Remix Select from PRX, Saturdays at 9 p.m.
- Podcast Playlist from CBC in Canada, Saturdays at 10 p.m.
- It’s Been a Minute from NPR, Saturdays at noon and 1 a.m., and Sundays at 9 p.m.
- With Good Reason from Virginia Humanities in Virginia, Sundays at 11:30 p.m.
- Climate One from PRX, Sundays at midnight
Music programs such as Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride and Live from Herewith Chris Thile will air Sunday nights at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, on Electro Lounge Radio on 89.9 HD4: a new HD radio station launched by WJCT in April 2020 as part of the Jacksonville Music Experience (JME). Additional elements of the Jacksonville Music Experience include Classical 24® from American Public Media on 89.9 HD2; Anthology, a hand-crafted selection of music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s on 89.9 HD3; Music Thursdays on WJCT-TV; Studio 5 Sessions at wjct.org; the VOIDCAST podcast, produced in partnership with Void Magazine; and live performances at the WJCT Soundstage. Details about the Jacksonville Music Experience are available at wjct.org/jaxmusic.
WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook and follow WJCT on Twitter and Instagram.
“The State We’re In” premieres at noon Tuesday, April 14, on the WMFE and WUSF Facebook pages and will offer news and information about the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impacts on Florida and our communities. WMFE News Director Matthew Peddie and WUSF Reporter/host Bradley George will co-host, and each episode will feature a conversation with an expert — from health care and business to education and science — and allow viewers the chance to ask questions and share their experiences.
WMFE and WUSF are already collaborating on I-4 Votes, one of eight public media networks participating in “America Amplified: Election 2020,” an initiative that aims to strengthen collaboration within public media, build trust in local journalism and deepen understanding of America’s needs and aspirations. It’s led by public radio station KCUR 89.3 in Kansas City and supported by a $1.9 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The America Amplified team is lending support to get the Facebook Live show up and running. Its leaders are encouraging partner stations to adapt their journalism to the global pandemic, and find ways to connect our communities at a time when people are needing to separate physically. “The State We’re In” will launch as a way for Floridians to talk with one another about coronavirus, but it eventually will evolve into a place for discussions about other issues, including the 2020 presidential election.
“COVID-19 has all of our attention, and we’re proud to extend our stations’ essential coverage to the Facebook Live platform, which will allow anyone to directly and easily join the conversation in real time,” WMFE President and CEO Erika Pulley-Hayes said. “We want to make sure that everyone has access to reliable and local information, as well as an opportunity to voice their concerns so that we can address them.”
“The State We’re In” will be audience-centric. The show will focus on what the citizens need and want to know about the virus to make better, informed decisions in their own lives.
“Our stations are known for providing accurate and timely information that listeners can rely on,” WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky said. “The coronavirus has upended the daily lives of everyone around the world, and we are making access to accurate information as easy as possible for everyone.”
About WUSF Public Media:
WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services. Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media has been serving the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships for more than 50 years. Visit wusfnews.org for more information.
Community Communications Inc., DBA WMFE, is a non-profit, member-supported, community-based public broadcasting company that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Leesburg and The Golden Triangle. Part of the community since 1980, Community Communications focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information.
TALLAHASSEE, FL. March 19, 2020 – As many schools and districts across Florida cancel classes beyond spring breaks to lessen the spread of COVID-19, Florida PBS stations are banding together to support at-home learning for students by delivering a new weekday television schedule of educational programs.
These programs are aligned to state standards, and are free and accessible from home. Most of the stations across the state will begin broadcasting these programs Monday, March 23rd at 6 a.m.
“Florida’s public television stations have been dedicated to ensuring the health, welfare and education of our youngest viewers for decades and have a long-standing partnership with the state of Florida”, said Randy Wright, Executive Director of WUFT-TV/FM in Gainesville-Ocala and chair of Florida Public Media.
“We can continue to play a critical role in providing trusted, aligned educational resources for students, parents, teachers and caregivers during these challenging times. This unique and special educational programming and PBS Learning Media are extraordinary tools that are easy to access from home and they’re made available as a free service from Florida’s public media.”
At-Home Learning Stations
WEDU – Tampa/St. Petersburg
WFSU – Tallahassee/Panama City
WGCU – Ft. Myers/Naples
WJCT – Jacksonville
WLRN – Miami
WPBT – Miami
WSRE – Pensacola
WUCF – Orlando
WUFT – Gainesville/Ocala
WXEL – Boynton Beach
Stations are dedicating a daytime weekday schedule on their main or other channel. The new 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. schedule includes specific blocks of time for Pre-K through 12th grade levels and covers subjects, including English language arts, social studies, science and math.
“Many students in our area do not have the needed computers, printers or even internet to make online learning possible to the extent needed to make an at-home learning environment, but they do have a television,” said Tasha Weinstein, education and engagement manager at WFSU Public Media in Tallahassee.
In the weeks to come, Florida stations will be sharing local content and other resources that can specifically support the needs of teachers and students.
Florida Public Media is the association of public radio and public TV stations throughout Florida.
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen – and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video app is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.
For additional information:
Florida Public Media
ORLANDO – 90.7 WMFE has begun an ongoing collaboration with InsideClimate News, a Pulitzer Prize-winning, non-profit, non-partisan news organization dedicated to covering climate change, energy and the environment. WJCT Public Media in Jacksonville also participates in the collaborative.
WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green is a part of ICN’s new project Caught Off Guard: The Southeast Struggles with Climate Change, which features Southeast reporters’ stories on the progress and problems their communities face related to climate change. Journalists from nine newsrooms found communities struggling with funding or a lack of political will, and an urgent need for technological breakthroughs to meet global warming head-on.
Green’s story, Orlando Aims High With Emissions Cuts, Despite Uncertain Path, focuses on the city of Orlando’s promise to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050.
“As its population grows, the Southeast region is facing some of the biggest global warming threats in the United States. And it’s having a hard time rising to that challenge,” ICN Southeast reporter James Bruggers wrote. “We’re proud to bring you these stories, and proud of our work to revive and strengthen local environmental journalism.”
WMFE is part of the Southeast hub of ICN’s national environmental reporting network. The other members are fellow Florida station WJCT Public Media in Jacksonville, Raleigh News and Observer, West Virginia Public Broadcasting/Ohio Valley Resource, The Post and Courier, The State, BirminghamWatch, Georgia Public Broadcasting and WFAE.
WMFE is also part of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, a multi-newsroom initiative founded by the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, The Palm Beach Post, the Orlando Sentinel, WLRN Public Media and the Tampa Bay Times to report about climate change.
Green shared her Orlando emissions story with the Florida network, and the Orlando Sentinel published it in their print edition on Jan. 27.
Public Media Initiative, American Graduate, Helped Improve Graduation Success Among Black and Latino Students
Public Media’s National and Local Content Put a Spotlight on the Issue and Community Connections Inspired Volunteerism with Youth and Education Resources in Classrooms. New independent research from NCES reveals encouraging data about nation’s progress, with black students graduating on par with white counterparts
(WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 21, 2020) — For over nine years, the public media initiative American Graduate, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), has worked successfully to help young people, predominately black and Hispanic students, stay on the path to a high school diploma. Through programming and partnerships with over 1700 organizations, public media stations in nearly every state helped communities understand what students needed to graduate.
The American Graduate initiative inspired citizens to mentor these young people, helping them overcome great obstacles and ultimately graduate from high school. In 2017, the national high school graduation rate rose to an unprecedented level and now a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics, “Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2019,” shows that for the first time in 40 years, African American 18-to-24-year-olds completed high school in 2017 at a rate on par with white 18-to-24-year-olds. The graduation gap between white and Hispanic students also decreased significantly.
“These results affirm that our nation’s young people, with the support of a caring adult, can succeed in school and beyond,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “The nation’s public media stations, locally owned and connected to the communities they serve, have made a profound positive difference in the lives of so many young Americans of all backgrounds.”
The national graduation rate was 79% in 2011, with African American and Hispanic students comprising some of the lowest completion rates. As a result of the steadfast commitment of initiatives around the country, such as American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, the national graduation rate rose to 84.6% in 2017 as reported in the 2019 Building A Grad Nation Report.
Through American Graduate, CPB provided grants to stations in states with the highest proportion of black students who had been failing to graduate, including Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Alabama Public Broadcasting, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Maryland Public Television, South Carolina Educational Television, Nashville Public Television, Nine Network of Public Media (St. Louis) and Florida Public Media.
“Public media stations – as trusted communicators, conveners, and capacity builders in local communities – help citizens understand the complex factors at play and what works in keeping students on track to graduate,” stated John Bridgeland, founder and CEO of Civic. “The work by American Graduate stations and the leadership from CPB has been vital to our nation’s progress on the local, state and national levels.”
In addition to national partners, including America’s Promise Alliance, Civic, Johns Hopkins University School of Education and Alliance for Excellence in Education, local stations through content and engagement raised awareness and inspired American Graduate Champions to work with youth. CPB supported national programming such as All the Difference, produced by Wes Moore in partnership with POV, which followed two black teens from Chicago on their journey to graduate from college; and Los Graduados, produced by Bernardo Ruiz in association with ITVS and Latino Public Broadcasting, which explored challenges faced by Latino high schools students.
CPB is now providing American Graduate: Getting to Work grants to public media stations to help young people prepare for and connect to jobs and careers.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.
About American Graduate
American Graduate is public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people succeed in school, career and life. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 125 public television and radio stations have joined forces with over 1,700 partners to elevate the stories of youth and the supportive adults that help them succeed. Through American Graduate, public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important partner in local communities, provides a critical platform to shine a light on pathways to graduation and successful student outcomes. National and local reporting, on air and online is helping communities understand the challenges and community-driven solutions associated with education and future successes. Public forums, town halls and community conversations are activating discussions between community leaders, educators and more.