American Graduate Day 2014 on KUAC TV & Fairbanks Stories of Champions

American Graduate Day

American Graduate Day airs on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. AST on KUAC TV. The seven-hour live broadcast from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center celebrates the exceptional work of individuals and groups in the local community and around the country whose daily heroics help youth stay on the path to graduation.

More than 80 public radio and television stations in over 30 states including KUAC, have joined forces with over 1000 partners and at-risk schools to shed light on the problem and share solutions. Through American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, public media is increasing national and local reporting, convening diverse local stakeholders, and providing access to free, digital classroom resources for teachers and parents. By working with the community, public broadcasting stations are increasing the footprint of progress, reaching more children and families to seed the foundation for a prosperous economic future for our country.

Fairbanks Stories of Champions

“Stories of Champions” highlights local community leaders making significant, scalable changes that are preparing students for success. Fairbanks’ Local Champions are role models in this community and are leading by example. KUAC is excited to help bring these “Champions” to American Graduate Day.

Videos shot and directed by KUAC’s Emmy® Award Winning Producers Aaron Elterman and Deb Lawton.

Greg Hill, the now retired director of the Noel Wien Public Library in Fairbanks, created “Guys Read,” with the aim of increasing readership among fourth grade boys in Fairbanks. This innovative program has spread to other communities in Interior Alaska and to a “Gals Read” program as well.


Yatibaey Evans is the coordinator of the Alaska Native Education program which addresses the academic needs of Alaska Native and Native American Indian students. The program provides students with support that ranges from tutoring to cultural arts programs with programs in elementary, middle, and high schools in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Yatibaey’s story was chosen to air on the national American Graduate Day broadcast on September 27th 2014 on KUAC TV and across the country. Make sure to tune in between 9 and 9:30 am AST to see this story of a champion premiere nationally!


Bernard Gatewood is Superintendent of the Fairbanks Youth Facility and a member of numerous boards, committees, and councils concerned with a broad range of issues that impact children and families, and the general well-being of the entire community. He has worked extensively with the Fairbanks School System to divert youth from custody and provide supportive services to those in the system.


Julie Wild-Curry was one of fifteen educational leaders to be selected as a White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow from throughout the nation to develop state-level afterschool policy. She leads a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) After School Program which provides additional academic support and enrichment for students who need extra assistance. After School Programs provide a structured and supportive environment for students to explore their interests. She is the state mentor for other 21st CCLC sites throughout the state of Alaska.


More on American Graduate Initiative & American Graduate Day 2014

Today’s global economy demands a more educated workforce. Communities are working together to improve 21st century learning and increase high school graduation rates to prepare more students for college and successful careers. Public media stations across the country are at the center of this community-based work — from quality content and forums to local partnerships and classroom resources — to increase understanding and access to solutions.

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is a long term public media commitment, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. Public media plays a significant role building individual activity, community capacity, and national awareness.

The dropout crisis demands attention now, and we are rising to the challenge of doing our part to address this problem. A new study conducted by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins School of Education finds that the American Graduate initiative has succeeded in building community capacity to meet the national priority of ending America’s high school dropout crisis. LEARN MORE

Wes MooreAmerican Graduate Day 2014 will feature new guests and partner organizations, as well as returning hosts including Wes Moore (bestselling author and host, OWN) and Juju Chang (“Nightline” anchor, ABC News). A special goal for this year is to attract one million new American Graduate Champions to take an active role in volunteering their time, talent, or other resources in their own communities.

Juju ChangThis year’s broadcast event highlights how community organizations provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools to promote higher graduation rates. The programming themes are Early Education, Caring Consistent Adults, More and Better Learning, Special Needs Communities, STEAM Programs, Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement and College and Career Readiness. New features this year include live entertainment and performances, and “Stories of Champions,” a new series of 14 profile pieces featuring American Graduate Champions working in communities across the nation.

We hope you join KUAC and the nation for American Graduate Day 2014 and help us thank Fairbanks’ Local Champions and Champions from across the country.