WHUT Awarded American Graduate Community Service Grant To Help Youth Outcomes
(Washington, DC August 27, 2014) — WHUT has been awarded an American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen community service grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help Washington, DC improve youth outcomes for all students from preschool through college and onto careers. The nation’s graduation rate is at 80%, yet significant “graduation gaps” still exist for students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, and disabilities, as well as those with limited English proficiency. In Washington, DC graduation rates are 64%, with the biggest gaps existing for students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, and disabilities, as well as those with limited English proficiency.
Kicking off as students in Washington, DC head back to school, WHUT will work with the Washington, DC community over the next two years to increase understanding about the challenges for at-risk youth and work with a network of community partners to help develop and illuminate long term solutions emphasizing the importance of a strong foundation in early education and the need for consistent caring adults. Stations will highlight local leaders who are helping communities increase graduation rates and the everyday heroes in a child’s life who are committed to improving education outcomes as “American Graduate Champions.” The initiative will feature new locally produced content alongside national productions and classroom resources – including PBS NewsHour’s new education desk, American Graduate Day, 180 Days: Hartsville, and the youth-driven spoken word contest RAISE UP!, along with PBS Learning Media and PBS Kids assets. WHUT is part of the national American Graduate initiative in partnership with 33 other public media stations around the country.
“Education is a currency that is one of the key principles to economic empowerment. But all too often, those in the African American community and other communities of color find themselves with an account that reads insufficient funds when reaching for their currency of education. WHUT, along with Public Media, is dedicated to fill an account that Dr. King spoke about over fifty years ago. We are committed to educating our community NOW because it costs too much to wait.” – Jefferi Lee, General Manager, WHUT
“Education is at the core of public media’s mission. Through American Graduate stations’ partnerships with over 1000 local organizations, we are proud of public media’s content and on the ground engagement that has raised awareness to achieve 80% graduation rates nationally and helped America see the potential in every student,” said Pat Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “By strengthening our focus on solutions, starting with our youngest learners, and highlighting local leaders who are creating sustainable change, together, we can set kids – and our country – on a path for long term success.”
With the success of the American Graduate Community Conversations, American Graduate Community Town Hall and support of local partners WHUT has built a strong foundation for ongoing action and long-term impact in the DC area. WHUT’s American Graduate partners include D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, Girls Inc., DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative, Turning the Page, Concerned Black Men National, Capital Area Asset Builders, CentroNia and DC area schools.
“Learning and youth development happen in so many places, both in-school and out. We are delighted to be a part of this unified effort to help our city’s youth achieve their promise.” – Peter Guttmacher, Director of Programming and Curricula Development, The D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.
Howard University Television was founded in 1980 in Washington, D.C. as WHMM. At its inception the station became the first public station in the United States to be licensed and operated by a historically black college and university (HBCU) – Howard University. The station broadcasts reach over 2 million households in a 60-mile radius. The station endeavors to underscore Howard University’s overall mission in its commitment to excellence, leadership and public service. For over 32 years on air WHUT has become a leader in broadcast communications by providing quality programming for the Greater Washington, D.C. viewing community that is relevant and informative, while offering exceptional professional training in television production, engineering and management. For more information, please visit www.whut.org.
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 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
Let’s Make it Happen was launched in 2011 with 25 public media stations in high need communities to spotlight the high school dropout crisis and focus on middle and high school student interventions. Today, more than 80 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have partnered with over 1000 community organizations and schools, as well as Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Alliance for Excellent Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation to help the nation achieve a 90% graduation by 2020.
With primetime and children’s programming that educates, informs, and inspires public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are important resources in helping to address critical issues facing today’s communities. According to a report from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, American Graduate stations have told the story about the dropout crisis in a way that empowered citizens to get involved, and helped community organizations break down silos to work more effectively together.
In early 2014, CPB and PBS KIDS committed an additional $20 million for the “American Graduate PBS KIDS Fund” to also help communities connect the importance of early learning as part of a student’s long term success. In addition to station grants for local engagement, the Fund will support the creation of children’s content and tools to help parents, particularly those from low income communities, better prepare their young children for long term success. Fourteen American Graduate station grantees have also been awarded CPB early education grants to reach children ages 2-8 with programming and services developed through the Ready to Learn Initiative, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education.