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Colorado Public Television Receives Corporation for Public Broadcasting/National Center for Community Engagement Grant Project to Focus on High School

For Immediate Release:

Denver- (August 3, 2011) – Colorado Public Television (CPT12, formerly KBDI) has been awarded a community engagement grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of its nationwide American Graduate program. The July – December 2011 project enables CPT12 to provide on-air, online and in-person awareness and take-action messaging on the Colorado high school dropout crisis among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (GLBTQ) youth, a group that not only struggles with difficult socio-economic, racial and domestic pressures that lead to their high rates of dropping out but has disproportionately faced serious additional issues such as homelessness, bullying and harassment.

According to the Colorado Department of Education, 13,147 Colorado students didn't graduate from high school (3.1%) in 2009-2010. The dropout rate for the highest-risk students was 54.2%. Among the GLBTQ community, drop out rates are nearly three times the national average. Because they feel unsafe, up to 28% of gay students stop attending classes regularly; many others drop out entirely, run away from home and in too many cases, attempt suicide (Lambda Legal).

Dropping out not only exacts notable costs on the individual, but also on taxpayers and our communities. Research shows that dropouts are 15 percent less likely to be employed, and those who do find jobs earn 30 percent less than their peers who hold a regular diploma or GED. Nationally, taxpayers could benefit by $45 billion annually if the high school dropout rate were cut in half. Those savings would come from extra tax revenues; reduced costs of public health, crime, and justice; and decreased welfare payments.

“We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to raise awareness and encourage people to reach out for resources or offer their help on the high school dropout crisis, an issue that affects everyone in Colorado,” said Wick Rowland, President and CEO of CPT12. “The GLBTQ community isn’t usually the focus of information and awareness in dropout crisis discussions and media coverage; so we are fortunate to be able to shine a light on this serious issue and draw upon the unique perspectives of the engaged Colorado community to help address it. This is precisely the sort of work that public broadcasting, and particularly CPT12, can do so well, and we are pleased that community entrusts with that responsibility.”

CPT12 is partnering with Colorado Youth for a Change, The GLBT Community Center of Colorado and its youth program, Rainbow Alley, and the Colorado 2-1-1 services to maximize the reach and impact of the project. Additional partners include the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and public radio stations KUNC and KUVO.

Throughout the project, CPT12 will work to:
  • Raise awareness among our viewers of the issues and costs of dropping out and the services, resources and options available in Colorado.
  • Motivate action for key stakeholders including GLBTQ youth, families, volunteers and potential mentors to get the help they need or get involved in being a part of the solution toward real, lasting, measurable change in the dropout rate in Colorado.
CPT12 is part of a nationwide effort by public television and radio stations to address high school graduation rate problems and associated local community interests and activities. The project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through the National Center for Media Engagement.


About Colorado Public Television – CPT12
Every day Colorado Public Television (CPT12) sets itself apart with an unparalleled schedule of local, independent, “community voice” public affairs programming and invites our statewide audience to explore new issues, ideas, people and places in the state, nation and world. CPT12 curates three digital channels including our flagship signal with a mix of local, national and international programming and infused with quality PBS shows (12.1); CPT12+, the best of independently produced documentaries, music, travel, exercise, cooking, public affairs and more (12.2); and MHz Worldview, providing international news from five continents and diverse cultural perspectives for a globally minded audience (12.3). Noted by The Denver Post in its “2010 TV person of the year” honor of CEO Wick Rowland, CPT12 is a “feisty outlet” that takes a tough stance “on matters of censorship & politics.”

World View – Community Voice
cpt12.org (formerly KBDI.org)

Contact:     Pam Osborne, posborne@cpt12.org
(303) 296-1212

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