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News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Lora Adams   
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 15:20

“American Graduate Day 2013,” Live National Multiplatform Event to Keep Students on the Path to Graduation,

Premieres September 28 on WQPT

Featuring local and national programming, community partners, and celebrities focused on solutions to the nation’s high school dropout crisis

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

MOLINE, IL -- "American Graduate Day 2013" will premiere live at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 on WQPT, marking a long-term commitment to helping communities tackle the nation’s dropout crisis and preparing students for success with a high school diploma. Through the power and reach of public media, communities across the county will be invited to take an active role and become an “American Graduate Champion for local youth by volunteering their time, talent, or other resources.

"American Graduate Day 2013," a multi-platform event featuring local and national programming, community partners and celebrities focused on improving the high school graduation rates in America, will be broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City. "American Graduate Day" is part of the public media initiative, "American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen,"made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). WQPT will spotlight local organizations and individuals and the work they are doing in the community to help students graduate from high school.

The key component of the event is the participation of the community-based organizations, including such groups as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Horizons National and the United Way.


“'American Graduate Day 2013' offers WQPT the opportunity to build upon our work with the United Way and Achieve Quad Cities.  We want to keep the spotlight on the drop-out crisis and all of the ways we can help to turn it around,” said Mary Pruess, General Manager.

American Graduate Day 2013 features a seven-hour “call to action” marathon focused around critical themes: expanded learning time and after-school programs, early education, mentoring, career readiness and college completion, STEM programs, family support and drop-out re-engagement and prevention. Hosted by on-air personalities from PBS, WNET and other media organizations, the broadcast and online event will be divided into 14 half-hour blocks featuring a mix of live breaks and pre-taped partner segments showing how community organizations provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools. Within each of these half-hour blocks, WQPT will customize the national feed with a locally-produced live or pre-taped seven-minute segment.

On, the event will include live viewer-generated video content submitted in response to questions such as “How has your life changed, or been changed by the power of volunteering?”

Throughout the day, viewers and online users will be invited to become American Graduate Champions by connecting with WQPT and the featured local community organizations. Viewers will be encouraged to participate in the event by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter using the hashtag #AmGrad and on Facebook. Those interested in becoming an American Graduate Champion can also call the toll-free number on the day of broadcast or log on to to find out more about the national and regional organizations.

Visit the "American Graduate Day" at for more information.


About WQPT

WQPT is celebrating 30 years as the local PBS station for eastern Iowa and western Illinois.  WQPT is the media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.


American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is helping local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. American Graduate demonstrates public media’s commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves. Beyond providing programming that educates, informs and inspires, public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are an important resource in helping to address critical issues, such as the dropout rate. In addition to national programming, more than 75 public radio and television stations in 33 states have launched on-the-ground efforts working with community and at risk youth to keep students on-track to high school graduation. More than 1000 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate, and CPB is working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About CPB

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 1,400 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.

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