Skip to main content

WTTW11 and PBS to devote seven-hour Saturday broadcast to promote High School Graduation and showcase American Graduate Champions!

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 is American Graduate Day 2014 part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen a national stay-in-school initiative

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - September 24, 2014

WTTW11, Chicago’s premier public television station, is proud to participate in the third annual American Graduate Day with a special seven-hour broadcast and outreach event on Saturday, September 27 from 10:00 am-5:00 pm CDT. This event, broadcast from New York City with local segments from Chicago, is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a national public media initiative to bring awareness to the high school dropout crisis in America, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

Best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran Wes Moore will host the marathon program from Lincoln Center in New York City featuring celebrity guests, non-profit organizations working to keep kids on track and in school, and compelling stories from the students themselves.  Moore will be joined by NBC’s Brian Williams, the Nightly Business Report’s Susie Gharib, and ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis.   Here in Chicago, local cut-ins each half hour will be hosted by WTTW’s Chicago Tonight correspondent Brandis Friedman, each featuring a program that strives to improve the lives of youth and their families in Chicago.  Each hour will feature local and national organizations and the individuals who are working to keep kids on track and in school.

Programs include literacy development, mentorships, before and after school opportunities for learning, dropout re-engagement and more.  Among the many local organizations featured are the Chicago Literacy Alliance, Chicago Youth Centers, Ounce of Prevention, United Way, Communities in Schools, City Year Chicago, Young Chicago Authors, Youth Guidance, Aspire of Illinois, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.   Representatives from the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Education Options will also share information about the three community-based Student Outreach and Re-Engagement Centers (SOAR) Centers that exist to help youth disengaged from traditional schools successfully attain their high school diplomas.  Additional content and links to the local resources featured during the American Graduate Day broadcast event is available on


American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help local communities across the country address the dropout crisis. CPB, in partnership with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working with public media stations nationwide, including regions where the dropout crisis is most acute, to raise awareness of the issue and coordinate action with community partners – all with the goal of helping students stay on course to graduate from high school.  For more, visit, Facebook, and Twitter.

WTTW is a premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, the Spanish-language channel WTTW Vme, and WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and on Recognized for award-winning local and national productions such as Chicago Tonight, Check, Please!, and MEXICO – One Plate at a Time, WTTW presents the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children’s programming to almost 2 million weekly viewers across a four state area. WTTW is unique in its commitment to serving the children in our community, with half of its weekday broadcast schedule devoted to educational and non-commercial content. Visitors to can connect with others in the community and access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, interactive features, event and membership opportunities, and microsites dedicated to WTTW and PBS series and specials.   WTTW’s robust American Graduate website,, provides unique video, extensive educational resources for families, and valuable suggestions for ways that viewers can get involved.