What is the American Graduate Project? Kim Kelling, WFSU’s Director of Content and Community Engagement says that the American Graduate Initiative is really an initiative for all of public media, funded through the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, created because there is a real concern that so many students are dropping out of high school.
“The reason that WFSU decided to become a part of this initiative is because we wanted to look at what’s happening in our own community. There are districts within the Big Bend that have very high dropout rates. In fact, in some of our counties, only 35% of the students are graduating from high school. We wanted to be able to tell that story and put attention on that issue so that our community would have a better understanding. I hope that this project helps people see how they can play a role – that it isn’t for someone else to do – but there’s very simple things that you can do to make a difference in the life of a student,” says Kelling.
In addition to television stories and radio segments like WFSU’s “Voices in the Classroom” series, we’ve also hosted a series of American Graduate I-Networking Luncheons at a local alternative high school in Tallahassee.
Ms. Kelling tells how it works, “There are many kids who are not exposed to different careers and this gives children an opportunity to know what other possibilities are out there. Most kids, if you ask what they want to be, they say rap star, football star, doctor or lawyer. A lot of those things are not realistic. We want to show them there are so many other opportunities available.”
Visit our website to learn more about the American Graduate Project.
And remember, Gradstock, our benefit concert series to help fund our American Graduate Project takes place February 26th and 27th.