NPT to Continue Work as `American Graduate` Station | Titan Moise Fokou Joins as Spokesperson

NPT to is proud to announce our continuing work as an “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen” Grantee and station, and to welcome Tennessee Titan Moise Fokou as our spokesperson this year. Here is the full release:



Nashville Public Television Awarded American Graduate Community Service Grant to Help Nashville Improve Youth Outcomes

NPT to Work with Community Partners to Reach Low Income Families and Vulnerable Young Men and Women; Will Share Stories of Middle Tennessee Leaders Who Are “American Graduate Champions”  

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 27, 2014) — Nashville Public Television (NPT) has been awarded an American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen community service grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to continue its work in Middle Tennessee to improve youth outcomes for all students from preschool through college and onto careers. It will focus especially on those susceptible to the “graduation gap” – students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes and disabilities and those with limited English proficiency. In addition, NPT has also received a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation to increase philanthropic support to support the station’s local education service and sustain the American Graduate initiative.

As an American Graduate station, NPT has already produced a significant number of original public affairs documentaries and short videos, among them, “Translating the Dream,” and “Graduation by the Numbers,” and two in-studio town halls, “Teacher Town Hall” and “Community Town Hall on Education.” All are available for free streaming at

Moise Fokou
Moise Fokou

The grant will allow NPT to continue its work over the next two years to increase understanding about the challenges for at-risk youth, particularly immigrant and refugee students, and work with a network of community partners to help develop and illuminate long term solutions. It will emphasize the importance of a strong foundation in early education and the need for consistent caring adults by highlighting “American Graduate Champions,” everyday heroes in a child’s life who are committed to improving education outcomes, and local leaders who are helping communities increase graduation rates. Tennessee Titans linebacker Moise Fokou, who with his own Root 53 Foundation works to encourage students in under-served areas of Middle Tennessee to live healthy and active lifestyles and excel at school, will serve as a spokesman for NPT.

“We’re proud of the work we accomplished in the last two years working with teachers and community partners and looking forward to the next two,” said Beth Curley, NPT president and CEO. “Our Town Halls and documentaries and been successful in convening teachers, community leaders and stakeholders and bringing attention to drop out rates and the needs of the underserved in our Nashville community. We are excited to bring in new partners, including the Root 53 Foundation and Moise Fokou, who carries with him a fresh voice for change and the need to excel.”

NPT is part of the national American Graduate initiative in partnership with 33 other public media stations around the country. The initiative will feature new locally produced content alongside national productions and classroom resources – including PBS NewsHour’s new education desk, American Graduate Day, 180 Days: Hartsville, and the youth-driven spoken word contest RAISE UP!, along with PBS Learning Media and PBS Kids assets.

“Education is at the core of public media’s mission. Through American Graduate stations’ partnerships with over 1000 local organizations, we are proud of public media’s content and on the ground engagement that has raised awareness to achieve 80% graduation rates nationally and helped America see the potential in every student,”said Pat Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “By strengthening our focus on solutions, starting with our youngest learners, and highlighting local leaders who are creating sustainable change, together, we can set kids – and our country – on a path for long term success.”

NPT’s community partners for American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen for the last two years have included, One Nashville, Alignment Nashville, America’s Promise, Metro Nashville Public School District (MNPS), Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Conexion Americas, SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education), Office of the Mayor Karl Dean, Glencliff HS/Cameron MS, YMCA of Middle TN, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Nashville Public Library, TN Dept. of Education, Nashville Symphony, The Frist Center for Visual Arts, Book ‘em and the Pencil Foundation.

About Nashville Public Television:
Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

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.

About American Graduate

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen was launched in 2011 with 25 public media stations in high need communities to spotlight the high school dropout crisis and focus on middle and high school student interventions.  Today, more than 80 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have partnered with over 1000 community organizations and schools, as well as Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Alliance for Excellent Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation to help the nation achieve a 90% graduation by 2020.

With primetime and children’s programming that educates, informs, and inspires public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are important resources in helping to address critical issues facing today’s communities. According to a report from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, American Graduate stations have told the story about the dropout crisis in a way that empowered citizens to get involved, and helped community organizations break down silos to work more effectively together.

In early 2014, CPB and PBS KIDS committed an additional $20 million for the “American Graduate PBS KIDS Fund” to also help communities connect the importance of early learning as part of a student’s long term success. In addition to station grants for local engagement, the Fund will support the creation of children’s content and tools to help parents, particularly those from low income communities,better prepare their young children for long term success. Fourteen American Graduate station grantees have also been awarded CPB early education grants to reach children ages 2-8 with programming and services developed through the Ready to Learn Initiative, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


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