PBS has announced the creation of Spotlight Education, a full week of primetime programming that will focus on the challenges currently faced by students and the education system in the United States.
In all, eleven films and documentaries will be aired on local PBS stations for Spotlight Education, set to take place September 12-17. The week will feature special episodes of NOVA, Frontline, and PBS Newshour, as well as a new film from POV, the premiere of TED Talks and "The Education Revolution." The week will end with the special broadcast of the 5th annual American Graduation Day to celebrate both individuals and non-profits that have helped to ensure that youth continue on the path to high school graduation.
The event will also serve as a kick-off for a year-long teacher support campaign named "Teach Boldly," which will be led by PBS and local member stations around the country. Included in the initiative will be a variety of virtual and community training events, as well as the launch of the PBS Teachers' Lounge. The "lounge" will be a digital space in which teachers will be able to share ideas, learn from their peers, and access tools and resources that can then be implemented in their own classrooms.
The majority of funding for Spotlight Education was received by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as part of the long-term public media initiative American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen. The initiative was created in an effort to help students graduate from high school prepared to enter college or begin a career.
In all, more than 100 public television and radio stations have joined together with over 1,700 partners in 49 states in order to publish stories of youth throughout the country and the adults who make it an effort to help them to succeed in life.
"SPOTLIGHT EDUCATION highlights public media's focus on education and our role in convening conversations around how to improve outcomes for students," said Paula Kerger, President and CEO, PBS. "With special on-air programming and resources to support teachers, PBS and our local stations are committed to supporting education—at home, in the classroom and in communities."
Full episodes, as well as clips from the week, will be available on PBS.org as well as Americangraduate.org. In addition, interactive content modules and a social hub will also be featured. Previews, clips, and full episodes will also be available on the PBS app for both iOS and Android devices as well as through station-branded digital platforms. Program updates will be available through #SpotlightEduPBS and #amgrad on Twitter.
"Public media is committed to providing Americans of all ages with educational content for free and commercial free." said Pat Harrison, President and CEO, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. "Our Spotlight Education week affirms the importance of local stations working in partnership with more than 1,700 community and business organizations through the American Graduate Initiative to help young people move toward graduation and career success."
With 350 member stations, PBS makes the ability to explore new ideas and new worlds available to the public through television as well as online content. In total, close to 100 million people watch PBS stations each month and close to 33 million people access the site online.