PBS SoCaL Hosts American Graduate Community Town Hall to Discuss Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

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Greater Los Angeles community leaders in education will come together in a town hall setting moderated by Hari Sreenivasan of PBS Newshour.

            Costa Mesa, CA (January 24, 2014) – PBS SoCaL will host an American Graduate Community Town Hall in Los Angeles on Tuesday, January 28, to address the dropout crisis locally. As Southern California’s largest classroom, PBS SoCaL is convening this town hall forum that brings together a broad group of community stakeholders around the challenges students face inside and outside the classroom. This conversation will focus on actions that will increase youth support systems in the community and improve students’ progress in school. 

            Moderated by PBS Newshour journalist, Hari Screenivasan, PBS SoCaL’s Community Town Hall will take place at the Civic Center Studios in Los Angeles at 207 Broadway, Los Angeles beginning at 5 p.m. The event will include representatives from community organizations including School on Wheels, YMCA of Long Beach and Families in Schools.

            “In our large and intricate region, we at PBS SoCaL take very seriously our mission to connect our citizens with the critical issues facing their communities,” said Mel Rogers, President and CEO of PBS SoCaL. “This conversation allows us to take a further step beyond the airwaves to bring teachers, students, leaders and community organizations together for the necessary conversations that they wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else.”

            Prior to the Town Hall, PBS SoCaL hosted community conversations with various stakeholders to address the challenges and discuss solutions. Results from these events will be utilized to inform a local action plan to improve graduation rates in Southern California. The PBS SoCaL Town Hall will be broadcast Thursday, February 27 at 9pm on PBS SoCaL.

            The town hall is part of the station’s work in American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and is one of many community town halls being held around the nation to help communities explore solutions to America’s high school dropout crisis.  The PBS SoCaL town hall event builds upon the success of teacher-driven town halls and interviews held across the country last year, supported by CPB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 


About PBS SoCaL

            PBS SoCaL is PBS for Greater Los Angeles and dedicated to interactively educating, entertaining and enlightening viewers throughout the Southland.  With its three unique broadcast channels, PBS SoCaL HD, PBS SoCaL Plus and PBS SoCaL World, PBS SoCaL provides award-winning programs like Frontline, NewsHour, NOVA, Nature and Masterpiece, as well as local productions including SoCaL Insider with Rick Reiff and LAaRT.  Through community outreach initiatives including PBS SoCaL Education, PBS SoCaL provides local schools access to new media materials that engage students in 21st century learning.  Explore the future of PBS in Southern California at www.pbssocal.org

About American Graduate

            American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen is helping local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. American Graduate demonstrates public media's commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves. Beyond providing programming that educates, informs, and inspires public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are important resources in helping to address critical issues, such as the dropout rate. In addition to national programming, more than 75 public radio and television stations in 33 states have launched on-the-ground efforts working with community and at risk youth to keep students on-track to high school graduation. More than 1000 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate, and CPB is working with Alma and Colin Powell's America's Promise Alliance and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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 1,400 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.

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