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American Graduate Day 2014

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Wes Moore to Host “American Graduate Day 2014” Live from Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in NYC
airing September 27, 11am to 3pm on WMHT

Day-long Multiplatform Event Celebrates the “Stories of Champions” -- Individuals and Organizations Committed to Improving Outcomes for Youth and Raising Graduation Rates 

Special Guests Include Tony Bennett, Juju Chang, Bianna Golodryga, Ingrid Michaelson, Edward James Olmos, Gen. Colin Powell & Alma Powell, The Raise Up Project, 
Sesame Street’s Elmo, Hari Sreenivasan, Trenton Public Schools Marching Band,
 Lauren Wanko, Brian & Jane Williams, Allison Williams, Doug Williams

Local Broadcast to Showcase WMHT’s Efforts to Address the Needs of At-Risk Kids

Visit WMHT's American Graduate Day 2014 webpage & learn about our featured Stories of Champions.

Watch American Graduate Week programming on WMHT WORLD, September 21, 2014 through September 30, 2014.

American Graduate Day 2014 returns this Fall for its third consecutive year. Wes Moore, best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran, will host the all-day broadcast which premieres Saturday, September 27 from 11am to 3pm on WMHTBroadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City, the annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations. Featuring seven hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances, American Graduate Day 2014will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are American Graduate Champions: those helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes. 

American Graduate Day 2014 will be anchored by “Stories of Champions,” a series of 14 one-minute profile pieces scheduled to air every half-hour, which will spotlight individuals and influential figures in local communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation.

Hosted by Wes Moore, a bestselling author, TV personality (PBS/“Coming Back with Wes Moore” and OWN/“Beyond Belief”) and champion for youth, American Graduate Day 2014 is set up around critical themes with the goal of inspiring citizens to connect with their local public media station and local community organizations, and get involved as American Graduate Champions in helping the youth of their community succeed. Moore is also the founder and CEO of BridgeEdU, an innovative college completion platform that reinvents the freshman year. Throughout the day, a number of on-air personalities from PBS, WNET, and other media organizations will join Moore in studio for special segments. Following the program, PBS NewsHour Weekend hosted by Hari Sreenivasan will feature American Graduate Day, with an in-depth look at Florida’s experimental program to expand reading time for struggling elementary schools.

This year’s topics are scheduled to include Early Education, Caring Consistent Adults, More and Better Learning, Special Needs Communities, STEAM Programs, Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement and College and Career Readiness.  The program also devotes time to areas not covered before, including the special needs community and the work of such organizations as Autism SpeaksBest Buddies, and Special Olympics, and the importance of the arts in STEAM as a key component to More and Better Learning that can compel kids to stay in school, reflected in programs like Exploring the Arts and VH1 Save The Music Foundation, and more. In addition to “Stories of Champions,” other new features include live performances by The Raise Up Project, a spoken word group also being honored the following day at The Kennedy Center, and the Trenton Public Schools Marching Band.

The broadcast and online event will be divided into 14 half-hour blocks featuring a mix of live breaks and pre-taped partner segments that spotlight the organizations reinvigorating communities around the country and illustrate how they provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools. Within each of these half-hour blocks, [STATION] will have the opportunity to customize the national feed with a locally-produced live or pre-taped six-minute segment.

Viewers and online users who are interested in connecting with local organizations and youth as American Graduate Champions can send a text on the day of broadcast or log on to to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns.   Viewers will also be invited to participate in the discussion via Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook.


Wes Moore (PBS and OWN), Juju Chang (ABC), Rehema Ellis (NBC), Bianna Golodryga (Yahoo!), Lyn May (PBS),Hari Sreenivasan (PBS NewsHour Weekend), William Brangham (PBS NewsHour Weekend), and Lauren Wanko(NJTV).


Among the national organizations featured are: 4-HAmerica’s Promise AllianceAutism SpeaksBest Buddies,Big Brothers Big SistersBoys & Girls Clubs of America, Citizen SchoolsCity YearExploring the ArtsFIRST RoboticsGateway to College National NetworkJunior AchievementMy Brother’s KeeperNational Academy FoundationThe Raise Up ProjectReach Out and ReadReading is FundamentalRoadtrip NationSpecial OlympicsSamsung Electronics North AmericaTaco Bell FoundationUnited Way and VH1 Save The Music Foundation 


Tony Bennett and wife Susan Benedetto will be interviewed about Exploring the ArtsGen. Colin Powell andAlma Powell  will be interviewed about their organization, America’s Promise AllianceBrian Williams (NBC) andJane Williams, daughter actress Allison Williams and son Doug Williams will be interviewed about their organization, Horizons NationalIngrid Michaelson (singer/songwriter) will give a testimonial about VH1 Save The Music FoundationEdward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver, Miami Vice)CC Sabathia (New York Yankees) andJackie Joyner-Kersee (Olympic gold medalist) will appear on behalf of Boys and Girls Clubs of AmericaMiral Kotb (dancer/choreographer) will be interviewed about Girls Who CodeAndy Grammer (singer) will host the VH1 Save The Music Foundation segment.

American Graduate Day 2014 is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET. Michael Kostel is executive producer.  Colin Powers is broadcast producer.  Chris Brande is national segment producer. Helen Maier is co-producer. Anna Campbell is local segment producer. From the Education Department, Kimberly Mullaney is project manager and Carole Wacey is vice president, education. Neal Shapiro is executive-in-charge.

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 to help more kids stay on the path to graduation.

Visit the American Graduate Web site for more details on participating PBS stations as well as other television and radio programs: