KERA’s American Graduate Initiative
As part of a national public broadcasting project American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, KERA is focusing on ways to keep kids on the path to graduation. This multiyear initiative will play out on all of KERA’s platforms, with news stories and community outreach through radio, television, web sites, social media and events
Stories of Champions
KERA is highlighting the work of three local American Graduate Champions including Josh Hamilton, a speech and debate teacher at Guyer High School; Jessica Soto, an advisor with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth; and Nakia Douglas, principal of Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy.
American Graduate Champions
American Graduate Champion 2015: Josh Hamilton teaches speech and debate at Guyer High School in Denton Texas.
American Graduate Champion 2015: Alejandro Pérez, Jr. is a life coach and teaching artist for Big Thought’s Creative Solutions program in Dallas Texas.
American Graduate Champion 2015: Jessica Soto is a pre-college advisor with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth.
Education Opens Doors: Founded in 2012 by executive director Jayda Batchelder, Education Opens Doors has helped thousands of North Texas children understand what it takes to navigate from high school to college and, ultimately, a successful career.
Bronson Lewis: As associate principal at Lewisville Night High School, Bronson Lewis works directly with students who have dropped out, are at risk of dropping out or simply want to take classes to accelerate their graduation. His passion for helping kids finish school has inspired countless students, including one former dropout who was profiled in the 2013 television program Students Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate Special.
For many teens, graduating from high school is tough enough. Try doing all that reading, homework and studying when you don’t have a place to live. Meet some of these students in North Texas – and the people who are helping them out. Read more »
This new KERA News American Graduate series explores the challenges these kids face and the ways North Texas schools are trying to weave them into the American tapestry. Read more »
Class of ’17
Reporters Bill Zeeble and Stella Chavez have launched an ambitious five-year project called Class of ’17. Bill and Stella will follow a diverse group of ninth graders from across North Texas all the way through high school graduation – or whatever comes next. Their stories are airing on the radio, 90.1 FM, and a blog, the Class of ’17 Yearbook. So far listeners and readers have met six of the students:
Think host Krys Boyd is focusing on education issues as part of the American Graduate project.
For many children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, America is the only home they’ve ever known. Reality sets in, however, when they find it difficult to qualify for financial aid for college or to get a job to pay for their education. This hour, we’ll talk about how the American Dream is out of reach for many young people who grew up here with Eileen Truax, author of Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for Their American Dream (Beacon Press).
It’s that time of year when high school seniors pray for an acceptance letter to their dream college and start to get realistic about attending that safety school. This hour, we’ll talk about why all of that stress is overblown with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. His new book is Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania (Grand Central Publishing).
Parents and educators alike decry the many hours kids spend playing video games. But what if video games are actually the key to more sophisticated learning? This hour, we’ll talk about the potential for games as a teaching tool with Greg Toppo, author of The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter (Palgrave Macmillan Trade).
Good teachers develop their skills over time and the best teaching instructors just might be teachers themselves. That’s the idea behind The Little Orange Book: Short Lessons in Excellent Teaching (University of Texas Press). Two of the book’s contributors are Brent Iverson of UT Austin and John Sibert of UT Dallas.
American Graduate Champion 2014: Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price is promoting healthy habits and active lifestyles for children through the FitWorth Healthy City Initiative. FitWorth is working with schools to encourage better nutrition and increased physical activity for students.
American Graduate Champion 2014: Jasmine Africawala is a librarian at the Dallas Public Library and serves as the community engagement coordinator. She oversees several programs that assist non-English speakers and individuals without a high school diploma – 25 percent of the population in Dallas County.
American Graduate Champion 2014: As principal of Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, Nakia Douglas’ mission is “to develop young men into impactful leaders through the development of their intellectual, moral, physical, social and emotional skills for the global society of tomorrow.”
Teach The Future: For a teacher, education is so much more than just taking attendance, assigning homework and administering tests; it’s figuring out creative ways to challenge and inspire kids. On Teaching the Future: A KERA American Graduate Special, meet a group of cutting-edge North Texas teachers, see them in action as they bring their innovative approaches to the classroom and hear their thoughts on the future of education in a roundtable discussion led by KERA’s Krys Boyd. Originally premiered Thursday, January 16 at 7pm on KERA TV.
Students Speak Out: In this hour-long television special, we find out what it takes to finish high school with four North Texas students who overcame the odds to graduate, and two students still working hard to finish. Originally premiered Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 7 p.m. on KERA TV.