Let’s Talk About Election 2020

Teachers: You are invited to join the KQED Youth Media Challenge: Let’s talk about Election 2020. Middle and high school educators across the U.S. are empowering students to share their take on issues that matter to them in this election. Read on to learn how your students can create media commentaries and publish them for a national audience. The Let’s Talk about Election 2020 challenge is a free, standards-aligned program on KQED Learn, co-hosted by the National Writing Project and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. All voices welcome!

Connect NY: Screens and Teens

Has smart tech and the social media it drives harmed a generation dependent on these tools to perform most functions?  A new addiction impacting youth socialization, cognitive development and even mental health is chronicled in a new documentary that’s starting the conversation with parents, educators and lawmakers across New York State.  As policymakers look to respond, can we institute moderation and parameters or has the technology taken hold and it’s too late? FEATURED GUESTS

Bonnie Nobiling, Director of IT Services & District Data Coordinator – Oneonta School District
Dr. Delaney Ruston, President – MyDoc Productions and filmmaker-in-residence at Stony Brook Medicine, NY

PANELISTS

Michael Robb, Ph.D., Director of Research – Commonsense Media
Bonnie Russell, Immediate Past President – New York State Parent Teacher Association
Dr. David O’Rourke, District Superintendent – BOCES Erie District
Sean Ryan (D), NYS Assemblymember 149th District

Watch this new episode on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 9:00pm on WSKG TV. Join us as we uncover compelling and unexpected stories throughout New York State and the history and systemic forces influencing current realities.

Raising Bertie

Raising Bertie is an intimate portrait of three African American boys as they face a precarious coming of age in rural Bertie County, North Carolina. Like many rural areas, Bertie County struggles with a dwindling economy, a declining population, and a high school graduation rate below the state average. This powerful vérité film weaves the young men’s narratives together as they work to define their identities and grow into adulthood while navigating complex relationships, institutional racism, violence, poverty, and educational inequity. #RaisingBertiePBS

Watch on WSKG TV Monday, August 28, 2017 at 10:00pm. https://youtu.be/i5twmZTXFFM

A co-presentation with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC).

'An Ear for Drama' Seeks Scripts From Student Groups

You might listen to three podcasts a week, some streaming from a favorite website or others downloaded to your phone… But what entertainment could be found through your headphones beforethe internet? Enter the RADIO DRAMA! Wikipedia reminds us that radio drama first appeared in the 1920s and quickly rose in popularity. In the 1940s, it was a leading form of popular entertainment for children and adults; and one they often enjoyed together. The invention of the television stunted this popularity, but radio dramas have continued to be produced over the past 90 years.

Student Filmmaker Liam Walsh Captures ‘Best in Show’ Award

Liam Walsh’s film ‘In HARMoNY’ received the ‘Best in Show’ award for the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival. Walsh has been participating in the Festival since 6th grade as a student at Chenango Forks School District in Chenango Forks, NY.  A filmmaker and composer, he is currently studying Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California.  Here he responds to interview questions we posed. What is your film about?  Can you summarize it in a few sentences?

Student Filmmaker Liam Walsh Captures 'Best in Show' Award

Liam Walsh’s film ‘In HARMoNY’ received the ‘Best in Show’ award for the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival. Walsh has been participating in the Festival since 6th grade as a student at Chenango Forks School District in Chenango Forks, NY.  A filmmaker and composer, he is currently studying Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California.  Here he responds to interview questions we posed. What is your film about?  Can you summarize it in a few sentences?

Horror Story ‘Alone’ Takes ‘Best SciFi/Fantasy’ Honor at Serling Fest

Alone, written and directed by executive producer Conner Personius, is a horror story about a young man who takes a turn for the worse after suffering a mental breakdown. Starring Nick Ketter, Joshua Carver, and Bruce Personius. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=601tYEDSh84&feature=youtu.be

The 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival will be held at the Art Mission & Theater on October 16, 2016 and all winning selections can be found here.

Horror Story 'Alone' Takes 'Best SciFi/Fantasy' Honor at Serling Fest

Alone, written and directed by executive producer Conner Personius, is a horror story about a young man who takes a turn for the worse after suffering a mental breakdown. Starring Nick Ketter, Joshua Carver, and Bruce Personius. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=601tYEDSh84&feature=youtu.be

The 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival will be held at the Art Mission & Theater on October 16, 2016 and all winning selections can be found here.

What Would You Do With A Trillion Dollars? Students Respond Through Short Film.

This is a short video collaboratively made by Buffalo Youth Media Institute students at the Buffalo Center for Art and Technology. The students were asked to explore the question of what they would do with a trillion dollars.  Congratulations to student filmmakers Jefferson Manuel, Wilson Morerro, and Saeed Muhammad for winning the honor of ‘Best Social Commentary’ in the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JqUkXBO4Pc&feature=youtu.be

The 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival will be held at the Art Mission & Theater on October 16, 2016 and all winning selections can be found here.

'Dark Room' Captures Award for 'Best Fiction/Story' in Serling Fest

A group of students from Huntington High School in Huntington, NY collaborated to create the film ‘Dark Room’, earning the award of ‘Best Fiction/Story’ in the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival.  The students are Cody Bograd, Keegan Dunne, Charlie Ehrman, Jack Glicker, Emma Pipolo, and Sam Weitzner.  Teacher Heather Swan served as a guide on their project. https://youtu.be/y9baHLDeLmk

The 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival will be held at the Art Mission & Theater on October 16, 2016 and all winning selections can be found here.

'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.

'Spirit of Serling' Award Goes to Film Focused on Racial Stereotyping

Nicholas Taboni is a senior at Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY. When he’s not busy working on films he is a variety runner and captain of the cross country team. Nick is also involved in numerous clubs and service activities throughout the year. His film ‘The Box’ s was recently awarded the ‘Spirit of Serling’ award in the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival.  He took some time to share his thoughts on the Festival with us:

What is your film about?

Film Follows Two Teens Over Course of Five Years in 'All the Difference'

The largely invisible and often crushing struggles of young African-American men come vividly — and heroically — to life in All the Difference, which traces the paths of two teens from the South Side of Chicago who dream of graduating from college. Statistics predict that Robert and Krishaun will drop out of high school, but they have other plans. Oscar®-nominated producer/director Tod Lending’s intimate film, executive produced by author Wes Moore, follows the young men through five years of hard work, sacrifice, setbacks and uncertainty. As they discover, support from family, teachers and mentors makes all the difference in defying the odds. Airs on WSKG TV Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:00pm as part of the PBS Spotlight Education week of special programming.

'Les Milkerables' Takes Award in 2016 Serling Film Festival

Evan Pritchard is a Senior in Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, NY and his film Les Milkerables was recently awarded the ‘Best 9-12’ film in the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival. He has a strong passion for storytelling and the art of film which he is able to explore through the filmmaking program through his high school.  He hopes to one day make his hope and passion into his career.  Evan was inspired for this film through the idea of inanimate objects coming to life when no one is looking combined with a problem most household experience.  Using the stop motion animation techniques, paper cut outs (most notably associated with Monty Python) he was able to tell his unique story.

‘American Graduates’ Honored at Corning High School Learning Center

Congratulations to the Class of 2016! Tomorrow, three more students from WSKG’s American Graduate project will walk up to the podium and receive their high school diploma. Yay! We extend our congratulations to these three and all the student participants in our media production partnership with Corning-Painted Post High School Learning Center. Since the premiere of their thoughtful videos, nine students have officially joined the club we spend so much time reflecting on: They are American Graduates!

Celebrating 'American Graduates' from EverTech Academy

An evening to celebrate the newest American Graduates of our community! On Monday, June 13, 2016, thirty-eight students, their teachers, families, and friends gathered at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY for the graduation ceremony of EverTech Academy.  Ten of these talented young people were featured earlier this year in WSKG’s American Graduate project. They shared stories of courage, persistence, and the supportive circles that helped make graduation day a reality.  

During the ceremony, nine (yes, nine!) of WSKG’s American Graduate students were honored with academic awards or scholarships. Congratulations!

StoryCorps in the Classroom

Our education helps to develop who we are and what we will become. StoryCorps knows that this path is made brighter when we stop and listen to each other. As we end another school year, StoryCorps encourages you to learn more about the students in your life. In classrooms across America, students work with StoryCorps and to become the best version of themselves through listening and engaging with their family, loved ones, and peers. Cross-disciplinary (language arts, media, history) for Grades 9 and 10
Over the past five years, StoryCorps has been working in classrooms throughout America with a high school youth development curriculum called StoryCorpsU (SCU).

Teen Thanks a Whole Team of Champions

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
Autumn Roach doesn’t have a champion. She has a whole team of supporters helping her toward graduation! Autumn Roach is working toward her high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY.

Teen Honors Teacher and 'Grandfather I Never Had'

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
Michael Feeney credits his monitor as the reason he comes to school and the reason he’s even still in school. Michael Feeney is working toward his high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. He is studying Masonry in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence.

Students Recognize Faith and Family as Their Personal Champions

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
For Dominic Mooney and Patrick McKnight, faith and family are the ‘champions’ keeping them on the path to graduate from high school. Dominic Mooney is working toward his high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. He is studying Retail Warehousing Skills in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence.

Seniors Reflect on Personal Success Found in Career-Tech Education

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
Thomas Adams and Siena Petrilli point to life-changing educators as their champions: keeping them on the path to graduation and headed toward success after high school. Thomas Adams is working toward his high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. He is studying Carpentry in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence.

Art Class Keeps Teen on Path to Graduation

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
Marisa Wolfanger credits art teacher for success at new school and confidence in her own future
Marisa is working toward her high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. She is studying Culinary Arts in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence. After graduation, Marisa plans to enter the workforce and perhaps attend college to study art or animation. Submitted by Marisa Wolfanger:
My champion is someone who was here for me since day one.

Teen Thanks Mom for Strength, Guidance, and Education

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
Jordan Ballard’s powerful poem shares her experience with self-harm, anxiety, and suicide all to thank one person: her mom. Jordan is working toward her high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. She is studying Business Management in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence. After graduation, Jordan plans to enter the workforce and attend college for music.

Honoring Grandmother's Wish Keeps Student on Track to Graduate

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
When Kevin Eaton considers giving up on school, he thinks of his grandma and the final promise he made – to graduate from high school. Kevin is working toward his high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. He is studying Carpentry in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence.

Music and Mom Help Student Reach Graduation

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
Flo Wolf credits her mom’s support in making it through mental, emotional, and physical obstacles. Flo is working toward her high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. She is studying Business Management in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence.

With Mother's Help, Student Reaches Full Potential

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school.  
Brieona Turner celebrates the person who helps her the most: her mom. Brieona is working toward her high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. She is studying Computer Aided Design in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence.

Immigrant Youth Want Stories Told and Policies Changed in 'Papers'

“Papers” is the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. There are approximately 2 million undocumented children who were born outside the U.S. and raised in this country. These are young people who were educated in American schools, hold American values, know only the U.S. as home and who, upon high school graduation, find the door to their future slammed shut. It is against the law to work or drive. It is difficult, if not impossible in some states, to attend college.

National Mentoring Month Continues

A mentor is defined as “someone who teaches, gives help and advice to… often a younger person.”  Public media calls them #AmGrad Champions.  See some of the mentors making a difference in the lives of youth across the country when you visit the American Graduate website! WSKG highlights local mentors and champions here:

Share your mentor story with us at @WSKG using the hashtag #UpstateGrad!

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! https://youtu.be/vpFG6mNAkAc

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.

New Data on National Graduation Rates Point to Need for Community-Based Solutions to Dropout Crisis

New data on high school graduation rates released by the U.S. Department of Education underscore the continued need for innovative, community-based solutions highlighted by American Graduate, a local/national public media initiative focused on improving high school graduation rates. The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics showed that the graduation rate for the nation’s class of 2014 reached a record high 82 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from the class of 2013’s graduation rate. Graduation rates for several student demographics rose as well from the class of 2013 to the class of 2014, except for American Indian and Alaskan Native students, for whom rates remained virtually flat. But significant gaps remain, particularly between white students and their black and Hispanic counterparts, and economically disadvantaged students. The data follows the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (or ESSA) on December 10, 2015, the first major national education overhaul since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001.

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?

Not In Our Town

Encourage students to think about how bullying can limit freedom of speech and expression with this lesson from PBS LearningMedia.  Students watch documentary videos, read informational text and complete writing assignments. Sign up for your free PBS LearningMedia account and use this fantastic resource! GET RESOURCE
This is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy collection.  

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.  
YOUTH VOICE: AMERICAN GRADUATE EDITION
Listen to the students below!  

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

Ithaca High School | February 2013

Teens reflect on how national issues affect their lives
Some might say that teenagers only care about what’s happening in their own lives, but twelve students at IHS prove they have important thoughts and opinions on current public affairs issues. Each student chose an issue of personal interest, ranging from violence in video games to saving for retirement, increasing college tuition costs, and more! Students wrote an audio script, learned voice techniques for best recording, used field recording equipment to capture interviews, and explored editing software as part of WSKG’s youth media program. A special field trip to WSKG Studios gave students hands-on experience in journalism during Media Boot Camp. They did a fantastic job!

Binghamton High School | Arts & Culture Stories

Teens reflect on the role arts & culture play in daily life

It’s common knowledge that music is important to teenagers, but why is that so? Thirty-six drama students at BHS shine a light on why music, and other forms of art, are a must-have in teenage life! The audio features produced by students explore art from an angle that is important to them: From photography to music, culinary to dance, psychological impact, history, and more! Students wrote an audio script, learned voice techniques for best recording, used field recording equipment to capture interviews, and explored editing software as part of WSKG’s youth media program. A special field trip to WSKG Studios gave students hands-on experience in journalism during Media Boot Camp.

First Generation Edition | 2012

June – December 2012

This first group of student reporters exceeded our expections! Students from Broome and Tompkins counties tackled a variety of topics that were important to them, including vandalism, public safety, sexuality, rising college costs, and domestic violence.  The great diversity in topics is representative of each students’ individuality and the value behind their perspectives.  

Student Reporters:

Izzy-z
“The College Cost of Pizza”
Grade 12
Endicott, NY
Favorite Superhero: Spawn
Favorite Food: Pizza
Reporter Profile: “On the Move” Izzy-z talks about his childhood experiences moving around the country.  

Lia Scott
“Domestic Violence in Teenage Lives”
Grade 10
Endicott, NY
Evertech High School
Favorite Activity:  Singing
Reporter Profile: “Stay Strong” Lia Scott speaks about her experiences being bullied and its lasting impact.  
JMAXX35
“Ithaca Gorges: To Jump or Not to Jump”
Grade 11
Ithaca, NY
Favorite Car: Bugatti Veyron Turbo
Favorite Activity: Snowboarding
Reporter Profile: “The Drive” JMAXX35 shares his thoughts from a near-death experience.

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?