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CPT12 Tackles Dropout Crisis in Colorado; New Public Media Programming and Public Engagement Initiatives to Help Students and Teachers

Release Date: 04/11/12
Author: Pam Osborne
April 11, 2012 – Colorado Public Television (CPT12, PBS) has initiated a series of broadcast, online and community activities as part of ”American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen,” a national public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help Colorado and other communities across America to address the high school dropout crisis.

Every year 1 million kids drop out of high school nationwide. In Colorado, 15,941 students failed to graduate in 2010, according to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The estimated economic impact on the state is a loss of $4.1 billion in revenues and earnings over a lifetime, according to the CDE.

CPT12 is one of more than 60 public media and television stations around the country that are working directly with their communities to address the dropout crisis. CPT12 and “American Graduate” project partners, Colorado Youth for a Change, Urban Peak, United Way’s Colorado 2-1-1, The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), The Gay & Lesbian Center for Colorado’s Rainbow Alley and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) have developed a blend of media across several platforms – TV, radio, online – and community engagement efforts designed to raise public awareness and offer solutions to increase Colorado high school graduation rates.

Education has always been at the center of public broadcasting,” said Wick Rowland, President and CEO of Colorado Public Television. “That’s why we are proud to be a part of this important national initiative and are honored to work with the local community to make sure Colorado’s students stay in school and graduate.  We cannot allow a generation of our young people to fall through the cracks.”

“Every year, one million of our nation’s young people make the life altering decision to drop out of school resulting in severe consequences for their future and our country,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB.  “Through the ‘American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen’ initiative, America’s public radio and television stations – locally owned and operated – are engaging local  non-profit partners, business leaders, parents and teachers to help young people stay on the path to a high school diploma.”

Colorado’s “American Graduate” initiative began in September with initial meetings of the partner organizations to understand the issues and strategize about the best ways to tackle them.

CPT12 produced both local program-length and public service announcement-style content to inform the community about the issues and causes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth dropouts. Each segment focused on key information and provided information for getting resources that individuals or families might need. Included in the video content are the following pieces:

VIDEO: American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, A CPT12 Special Presentation
?In this special, co-hosts Tamara Banks from CPT12 and Nathan Heffel from KUVO lead a discussion about the high school dropout crisis, including creative solutions and community resources. Panelists include Rep. Jared Polis, Steve Dobo from Colorado Youth for a Change, and Robert Ham from Urban Peak. Watch online now.

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Bullying?
This CPT12 video features Cory Barrett, Director of Youth Services at The Center’s Rainbow Alley, as he discusses the effects of harassment and bullying on LGBTQ youth including isolation and leaving school altogether.
?http://www.cpt12.org/support/membership_special3.cfm?group=12

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Gay / Straight Alliance?
Gay / Straight Alliances (GSAs) are a practical and effective way to bridge understanding between LGBTQ and straight people in schools. This CPT12 video features Cory Barrett, Director of Youth Services at The Center’s Rainbow Alley, as he talks about the benefits of GSAs in schools.?http://www.cpt12.org/support/membership_special3.cfm?group=12

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Risky Behavior
?This CPT12 video features Cory Barrett, Director of Youth Services at The Center’s Rainbow Alley, as he looks at the risky behaviors that young people engage in when they are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. From drug and alcohol use to risky sexual practices, LGBTQ youth are highly likely to take chances that put them in danger.
?http://www.cpt12.org/support/membership_special3.cfm?group=12

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Racism?
While attitudes are slowly changing, LGBTQ kids of color are especially prone to bullying, harassment and familial rejection because of their sexual orientation. This CPT12 video features Cory Barrett, Director of Youth Services at The Center’s Rainbow Alley, as he discusses his own experiences as a person of color who also identifies as gay.?
http://www.cpt12.org/support/membership_special3.cfm?group=12

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Vulnerability?
This CPT12 video features Steve Dobo, Founder and CEO of Colorado Youth for a Change, as he talks about the academic risks for LGBTQ youth when they experience harassment and bullying.
?http://www.cpt12.org/support/membership_special3.cfm?group=12

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Homelessness and Dropping Out
?This short CPT12 video looks at how homeless youth, especially those who identify as GLBTQ, face a greater risk of dropping out of school. The video features Haley Todd, GED Coordinator at Urban Peak.?
http://www.cpt12.org/support/membership_special3.cfm?group=12

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Finding Acceptance
?In this short CPT12 video, John Ferguson, volunteer for Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays of Colorado (PFLAG) discusses the behaviors that young LGBTQ people resort to in order to find acceptance among their peers.?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhRK8UszOis&list=PL86104A769052EBE9&index=9&feature=plpp_video

??VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Family Acceptance
?In this short CPT12 video, John Ferguson, volunteer for Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays of Colorado (PFLAG) talks about San Francisco State University's Family Acceptance Project and the importance of families finding a way to keep loving their LGBTQ child in order to minimize risky behavior and even suicide.
?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKR2Sd7yvhA&list=PL86104A769052EBE9&index=10&feature=plpp_video

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: Escaping Violence
?In this short CPT12 video, Cory Barrett, Director of Youth Services at The Center's Rainbow Alley, links bullying and harassment of LGBTQ youth in schools with the isolation and skipping of classes that turns into skipping days and weeks and eventual dropping out.?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aKaaWqIEM&list=PL86104A769052EBE9&index=11&feature=plpp_video

VIDEO: American Graduate PSA: LGBTQ Youth of ColorodoPublicTelevision?
While attitudes are slowly changing, LGBTQ kids of color are especially prone to bullying, harassment and familial rejection because of their sexual orientation. Cory Barrett, Director of Youth Services at The Center's Rainbow Alley, discusses his own experiences as a person of color who also identifies as gay.
?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_9xdLJAafs&list=PL86104A769052EBE9&index=12&feature=plpp_video?


About Colorado Public Television – CPT12 ?
In 2012, Colorado Public Television (CPT12, PBS) is celebrating our namesake year with a focus on community giving and special programming. We set ourselves apart by creating and curating an unparalleled schedule of local, independent, trusted “community voice” programming on three channels including:
  • 12.1 - our flagship signal with a mix of local, national and international programming, infused with quality PBS shows;
  • 12.2 - CPT12+, the best of independently produced documentaries, music, travel, cooking, public affairs and more; 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 CPT12 is a “feisty outlet” that takes a tough stance “on matters of censorship & politics.”

About American Graduate
The public media initiative, American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, is helping communities across America identify and implement solutions to address the high school dropout crisis. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the multi-year campaign is designed to raise awareness and dialogue through national and local multiplatform programming.  Targeting communities with highest dropout rates, the initiative also increases local engagement and action through collaborations and partnerships, and increases student engagement through teacher professional development and classroom curricula. Public radio and television stations – locally owned and operated – reach 99% of the country over the air, have built models for successful intervention in early learning, and have deep connections in the communities they serve. Nearly 300 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate and CPB is partnering with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Visit American Graduate on Facebook, Twitter or AmericanGraduate.org.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. 

Contact:

Pam Osborne
?Director of Marketing and Communications
?Colorado Public Television, CPT12 (PBS)?
World View – Community Voice?
303-991-5020 (direct)
?Facebook: Colorado Public Television, CPT12?
Twitter: ColoPublicTV

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