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Reading Is Fundamental is Part of American Graduate Day 2015!

RIF Volunteer Ellen Halliday to feature in star-studded broadcast hosted by Soledad O’Brien, airing October 3. Special guests include President George W. Bush, Gen. Colin Powell, Jane Pauley, Zendaya, Allison Williams, Juju Chang, Rehema Ellis, Jason Derulo, Billy Bob Thornton and more.

September 17, 2015, Washington D.C. -- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is proud to be among dozens of national organizations working together for American Graduate Day 2015, keeping students on the path to graduation. On October 3 one of RIF’s Volunteers of the Year, Ellen Halliday, will be featured in an interview about her 15 years of dedicated work as the RIF Coordinator for Brooklyn Public Library. The day-long multiplatform event celebrates “Stories of Champions”, individuals and organizations committed to improving outcomes for youth and raising graduation rates.

American Graduate Day 2015 returns this fall for its fourth consecutive year. Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will host the all-day broadcast which premieres Saturday, October 3 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST on PBS Member Stations. Broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City, the annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations.

American Graduate Day 2015 is set up around critical themes with the goal of inspiring citizens to connect with their local public media station and local community organizations, and get involved as American Graduate Champions in helping the youth of their community succeed. The broadcast and online event will be divided into 14 half-hour blocks featuring a mix of live breaks and pre-taped partner segments that spotlight the organizations reinvigorating communities around the country and illustrate how they provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools.
Viewers and online users who are interested in connecting with local organizations and youth as American Graduate Champions can send a text on the day of broadcast or log on to AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns. Viewers will also be invited to participate in the discussion via Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook.

American Graduate Day is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen – a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. Additional funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Visit the American Graduate Web site for more details on participating PBS stations as well as other television and radio programs: www.americangraduate.org


Among the national organizations featured are: 4-H, 100 Black Men of Syracuse, ACE Mentor Program of America, Americas Promise Alliance, American Museum of Natural History, Autism Speaks, Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Born This Way Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Childrens Health Fund, Communities in School, The Enchanted Circle Theater, Get Schooled, GiGis Playhouse, Girl Scouts of America, GO Project, Goodwill GoodGuides, Green Bronx Machine, Horizons National, HorseAbility, Imagination Library, John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, Junior Achievement, Kids in Need Foundation, Little Kids Rock, Mario Batali Foundation, Merrimack Hall, Miracle League, Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, My Brothers Keeper, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, The Opportunity Network, Opportunity Village, PBS Student Reporting Labs, R.E.A.D., Reading Is Fundamental, Roadtrip Nation, Save the Children, SEO Scholars, Special Olympics, United Way of America, Urban Dove, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, XCITE, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, YMCA and Zebra Coalition

American Graduate Day 2015 is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET.

About RIF
Reading Is Fundamental delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in economically disadvantaged communities in the United States. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. RIF is leading the way to help minimize the summer learning slide through Read for Success, a proven program model aimed at elementary students to reduce summer reading loss and improve literacy proficiency all year long. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 412 million books in the hands of more than 40 million children since it was established in 1966. To learn more and help provide books to kids who need them most, visit www.RIF.org.

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 1,400 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 is public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people success in school and life. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 100 public television and radio stations have joined forces with over 1,400 partners across 40 states to elevate the stories of our youth and the supportive adults that help them succeed. Through American Graduate, public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important part of local communities, provides a critical platform to shine a light on pathways to graduation and successful student outcomes. National and local reporting, both on air and online is helping communities understand the challenges and community-driven solutions associated with the dropout crisis. Public forums, town halls, and community conversations are activating discussions between community leaders, educators, and more.


Media Contacts:

Jon Purves
Reading Is Fundamental
(202) 536-3438

Matthew Di Taranto
Edelman Public Relations
(212) 819-4862


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