NPT’s ‘Champions’ Spot to Air Nationally on American Graduate Day, Oct. 14

NPT’s original American Graduate Champions feature on Poppy O’Guinn Steele will be among 16 videos created by public television stations to be included in the national American Graduate Day broadcast. The sixth annual American Graduate Day takes place Saturday, Oct. 14. Watch NPT from 1 to 5 p.m. for inspiring stories about mentoring from around the country Middle Tennessee. Hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien, American Graduate Day will include live and recorded segments segments featuring Gen. and Mrs. Colin Powell, John Legend, Misty Copeland, Phil Mickelson, Daymond John, Marcus Samuelsson, Jane Pauley and others.

American Graduate Champions work to improve their communities by dedicating their time, talents and resources to help students achieve better educational and personal results. NPT will air a total of three new spots about Middle Tennessee Champions on American Graduate Day; these are also available for online viewing at and on YouTube.



Our new Champions videos highlight:

  • Poppy O’Guinn Steele, founder of Sign Club Co., a group that aims to bridge relationships between hearing and Deaf children. Sign Club Co. to eliminate the isolation faced by Deaf children not only in school, but often also within their own families. Forming friendships benefits all participants, leading to improved reading scores and fewer behavioral problems among hearing children as well.
  • Laura Fittz, a teacher at Nashville’s Glencliff High School who is passionate about restorative discipline practices in schools. She initiated such a program at her school and now mentors a student-led Peace Team she developed. The team’s goal is to help other students understand and engage in restorative practices.
  • Daquan Summers, a graduate of Nashville’s Hillwood High School. Summers was headed on a path to juvenile delinquency until he took part in a Nashville Juvenile Court program that uses intervention and restorative justice strategies instead of automatic punitive measures. Now Summers attends college on a basketball scholarship and mentors youth in the troubled neighborhood where he grew up and in communities near where he attends college.

NPT also recently brought together parents, educators, experts and students for the School Discipline: NPT Reports Town Hall, a community discussion about disciplinary procedures in Middle Tennessee schools. The town hall was recorded Sept. 17, 2017, and is available for online viewing at

Learn more about NPT’s involvement in the American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen public media initiative on our American Graduate website.

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