Wednesday, November 5, 2014

American Graduate Day

by Nalani Linder, Community Impact Manager - Early Childhood Development 

Did you know that our local public television station, KBTC, does a lot more for children than just air great programming like Sesame Street and Clifford the Big Red Dog? For years, KBTC has been active in the greater Tacoma/Pierce County community offering outreach and innovative hands-on programming, particularly for children in Tacoma’s Eastside and Hilltop communities. 

United Way of Pierce County congratulates KBTC on their award of the American Graduate grant, part of a national campaign to promote awareness and raise high school graduation rates across the country.  While many of the other American Graduate sites focused on interventions to support older students (such as mentoring, dropout prevention and/or college and career readiness programs), KBTC and its partners—United Way of Pierce County, First 5 FUNdamentals and the Foundation for Tacoma Students) chose to focus on high quality early learning experiences and its strong connection to later success in school and life. 

We are fortunate that public television is so committed to success of our community’s children.  Last month, KBTC hosted ‘American Graduate Day’, a television broadcast which featured inspiring stories from around the nation as well as local interviews with several leaders in education and the community. Viewers learned about some diverse ways that kindergarten readiness is being supported within Pierce County. Examples included: 

  • Columbia Bank- a company that ‘walks the talk’ of investing in the community through their volunteerism and donations to United Way and early learning; 
  • Reach Out and Read, an innovative program through pediatricians’ offices that provides a free book at every well-child visit and encourages parents to read to their children; and 
  • Sumner School District, where kindergarten teachers, child care providers and parents work together to help children be as successful as possible as they start school. 

If you missed the program, you can see highlights here.  

Want to help spread the word about the importance of early learning and what’s happening locally? Share information about American Graduate with your friends by sending them this link: