Thanks to American Graduate and pilot support from The William Penn Foundation and other regional funders, WHYY launched a new education initiative to bring our brand of high-quality media instruction into middle and high schools throughout Philadelphia. After a one-semester pilot at two School District of Philadelphia high schools, WHYY expanded the WHYY Media Lab program in the second pilot year to five additional schools within the District. Backed by research on the program, the WHYY Media Lab pilot allowed students to learn audio and video production, create documentaries, become active, critical viewers of media, develop numerous skills, gain self-esteem and experience how they can be a voice of change in their community.
WHYY held six "Civic Dialogues" where diverse groups of stakeholders, including teachers, administrations, parents, foundations, non-profits, public and private schools, discussed issues surrounding school success and graduation. The findings from these dialogues were compiled into a report and presented to the School Reform Commission, who altered the superintendent hiring process due to the findings.
The station established the "Introduction to Digital Storytelling" Teacher Scholarships to allow teachers to attend professional development courses on how to better engage students through the use of multimedia production techniques in the classroom.
WHYY also planned a two-week American Graduate youth media summer camp for at-risk youth in grades 9-12 (or who are in GED programs and are under 19 years old). Students created two documentaries and a series of PSAs addressing the dropout crisis in Philadelphia and the surrounding area with staff serving as guides and executive producers.
In the 2015/2016 school year, WHYY is embarking on a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia that will bring WHYY Media Labs to 27 District schools over the next three years beginning in September 2015.
WHYY is continuing to provide high quality news coverage on the state of education for the Philadelphia region.
Spanish American Civic Association - (WLCH, Lancaster, PA)
WLCH is using student-produced radio programs to serve as a discussion tool for the community and to draw attention to the severity of the local School District of Lancaster crisis. WLCH organized a Community Breakfast and Call to Action convening partners such as the School District of Lancaster, Greater Lancaster United Way, Lancaster County Workforce Development Board, Millersville University, Lancaster Community Foundation and the Lancaster County Council of Churches.
American Graduate Day participants