Independent Lens | The Bad Kids

Located in an impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is a last-chance alternative for students who’ve fallen so far behind in credits that they have no hope of earning a diploma at a traditional school. Extraordinary educators believe empathy and life skills, more than academics, give these underserved students command of their own futures. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of poverty in the lives of so-called “bad kids.” Premiering Monday, March 20, 2017 at 10:00pm on WSKG TV.


'American Graduate Day' Returns for 2016

American Graduate Day returns to WSKG TV on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 2:00pm. American Graduate Day 2016 supported by CPB, is a live, four-hour multiplatform broadcast that focuses on organizations and individuals keeping kids on the path to graduation. The event explores the importance of mentorship through the critical themes of early education, more and better learning, special needs, STEAM, dropout prevention and re-engagement, career readiness, and college completion. WSKG will also highlight the amazing dedication and work being done by local educators, our very own American Graduate Champions.


Viewers can participate in the event by asking questions and sharing ideas before and during the broadcast on Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtags #AmGrad and #UpstateGrad.

'Frontline' Presents Updates to Two Films During 'Spotlight Education' Week

In a one-hour special FRONTLINE presents two films on education in America. First: In “A Subprime Education,” we return to the story of for-profit colleges — which FRONTLINE first examined in the 2010 film “College Inc.” — to investigate allegations of fraud and predatory behavior in the troubled industry, and the collapse of Corinthian Colleges. Then, “The Education of Omarina” updates a story FRONTLINE has been following since 2012 — showing how an innovative program to stem the high school dropout crisis has affected one girl’s journey, from a public middle school in the Bronx to an elite New England private school, and now on to college. This two-part hour airs as part of PBS’s “Spotlight Education,” a week of primetime programming focused on the challenges facing America’s education system.  Watch on WSKG TV Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 9:00pm.

'Is School Enough?' Provokes Thinking of New Modes of Education

Is School Enough? documents vivid examples of where new modes of learning and engagement are taking hold and flourishing. Featuring nationally recognized educators and researchers, Stephen Brown’s powerful stories show that when students have the opportunity to explore real interests and problems, they step up and perform at the highest level. This new approach reaches motivated students as well as kids that educators call “the bright and bored,” helping these learners tune in rather than drop out. Is School Enough?

Students & Teachers: Deadline approaching!

A friendly reminder that reflections, artwork, or media pieces for Who’s Your Champion? are due soon! Submissions must be received by Wednesday, January 27, 2016 to be featured in WSKG’s American Graduate project. Read this for details and submission form. Quick reminder of what we’re looking for:
Stories and anecdotes from children, teens, and young adults
Creative ways of thanking your champion
Celebrating someone who helps (or helped) you be successful in school
Write a poem about your experience. Instagram a selfie with your champion, commenting how she helps you.

National Mentoring Month

In the report from America’s Promise Alliance “Don’t Quit On Me,” a key finding of the report shows: “A relationship with one stable, trusted person or anchor allows young people to access available community assets and leverage internal strengths.” Become a mentor that a young person can trust.  Learn more about National Mentoring Month here!

WSKG wants to hear from students – who or what is a driving force in your life?  Tell us about someone who has mentored you in our Who’s Your Champion?

Independent Lens: The Homestretch

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and create a new life. Each of these smart, ambitious youths — Roque, Kasey, and Anthony — will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their educations while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. While told through a personal perspective, their stories connect with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights. With unprecedented access into Chicago public schools, The Night Ministry “Crib” emergency youth shelter, and Teen Living Programs’ Belfort House, The Homestretchfollows these kids as they move through the milestones of high school while navigating a landscape of couch hopping, emergency shelters, transitional homes, street families, and a school system on the front lines of the homelessness crisis. The Homestretch examines the struggles these young people face in obtaining a high school level education, and then follows them beyond graduation to focus on the crucial transition when the structure of school vanishes, and homeless youth often struggle to find the support and community they need to survive and be independent.

Ted Talks Education

Public television and TED, the non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, share a deep commitment to addressing the high school dropout crisis. The TED Talks Education one-hour program brings together a diverse group of teachers and education advocates delivering short, high-impact talks on the theme of teaching and learning. These original TED Talks are given by thought leaders including Geoffrey Canada, Bill Gates, Rita F. Pierson, Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth and Sir Ken Robinson. TED Talks Education is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative. See all speakers and performers and check out this powerful excerpt:

Watch the full hour-long program on WSKG TV on December 19th at 5:30am.

180 Days: Hartsville

Experience a year of a Southern town’s efforts to address the urgent demand for reform in American public schools, and watch what happens when the systems that can either fuel or diffuse that reform — bureaucracy, economic opportunity and fixed mindsets — interact and intersect.
Watch episode 1 on December 5th at 5:30am and episode 2 on December 12th at 5:30am on WSKG TV.

WSKG ASKS: Who's Your Champion?

As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we want to hear about the person, place, program, or support that is helping you be successful in school. Introduce us to your champion! (Submit your own stories in the form below.)

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! Recent graduates are also welcome! If you could have held the microphone on graduation day, who is the person you would most like to thank?

American Graduate Day | LIVE

Tune in to PBS on Saturday, October 3rd from 11:00am-6pm ET for the fourth annual American Graduate Day, broadcast live from Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center.  Watch the program live online or on WSKG TV (which will feature local highlights!).
American Graduate Day is a full-day multi-platform event live featuring local and national programming, community partners, and celebrities, to celebrate the exceptional work of the individuals and groups whose ongoing efforts and daily heroics help youth stay on track to earn high school diplomas. @Amerigrad | #AmGrad | @WSKG | #UpstateGrad

American Graduate Champions | Dropout Prevention Educators

Everyday, classroom teachers have the opportunity to support and motive students to do their best and stay in school. Some local teachers are simply stellar at this. We call them caring, consistent adults and they are our local American Graduate Champions!

Who’s the champion in your life? Follow the American Graduate movement!

American Graduate Day | Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton, country music legend and founder of Imagination Library, is an American Graduate Champion!  Catch stories of education inspiration this Saturday, October 3rd on WSKG TV during American Graduate Day 2015.  This multi-broadcast event takes place from 11am-6pm.  You can also follow online using hashtags #AmGrad and #UpstateGrad.

Binghamton High School | American Graduate

During fall/winter 2014, Binghamton High School Grade 10 students explored the dropout crisis in the United States.  They learned about graduation rates in their own school. These audio reports are the students’ reflections on topics such as who or what motives them to come to school, how graduation is perceived in their school, or why they feel a high school diploma will help their future.  
Listen to the students below!  

“Coming to school every day is the first step in going to college.

What is American Graduate?

The WSKG American Graduate Project, funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is an initiative to raise awareness about the dropout crisis in our community by engaging a wide range of stakeholders in a dialogue and by mobilizing the community through a multimedia campaign to share resources, best practices, and stories of challenge and success. When students are asked if they will graduate from high school, about nine in 10 will answer ‘yes.’ However, statistics show about only seven in 10 students actually finish high school, and that statistic drops further for minority students and English Language Learners. Students have the will to graduate, but they do not always have the necessary support or resources. How can I talk about dropout issues in my classroom?