About the Initiative

Every year, more than 1.3 million students drop out of high school. That’s 7,000 students a day.[1]

Students have the will to graduate, but they do not always have the necessary support or resources. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), working with national partners, such as America’s Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has launched American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen — an initiative to help combat the dropout crisis in this country.

Local public radio and television stations, located in 20 impacted “hub markets” where the dropout crisis is most acute, are at the core of the American Graduate initiative.

[1] Civic Enterprises, specifically On Track for Success: The Use of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems to Build a Grad Nation, November 2011.

What WJCT is Doing

TEACH Conference

On September 15, 2012, WJCT and Community First Credit Union presented the first-ever TEACH, a professional development conference for teachers and the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. More than 1,000 teachers, principals, and other education professionals participated in the one-day celebration of teaching and learning.

The event featured expert keynote speakers Lucy Calkins and Brad Cohen, cutting-edge information and invaluable tools and resources to enhance teaching skills. Click here to see the TEACH program.

Also, check out all our great TEACH photos! (Be sure to scroll through all the pages.)
The third annual TEACH Conference will take place on October 4, 2014. For continuing information and tickets, click here and add the page to your browser favorites!

Teacher Town Hall

On April 28, 2012, WJCT hosted a statewide Teacher Town Hall at WJCT Studios. The Town Hall gives a collective voice to the needs, inspirations and ideas of teachers in Florida. WJCT edited the 90-minute conversation into a 60-minute television program that simulcast on 89.9 WJCT-FM, and broadcast across Florida on FPBS member stations.


WJCT is partnering with the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) in its ONE by ONE campaign, designed to increase civic investment in education. The campaign launched with ONE in THREE, a touring photo exhibit that showcases the dramatic stories of 20 troubled Duval County students who achieved school success with the help of caring community members. The exhibit includes portraits by local photographer Ingrid Damiani, with WJCT producing several of the students’ stories. To showcase additional voices and encourage individuals to get involved, JPEF is holding community conversations across Duval County neighborhoods. WJCT is participating in the community conversations, and will record and broadcast a selection online.

Mission US

WJCT is partnering with Duval County Public Schools to offer teacher training workshops for Mission US, a free, interactive computer game that immerses students in U.S. history. The game, which has become a runaway hit, is a valuable and engaging classroom tool. Two “missions” are available:

  • Mission 1: “For Crown or Colony?” showcases the Revolutionary War period, putting players in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer’s apprentice attempting to navigate the rising tensions between Patriots and Loyalists in 1770 Boston.
  • Mission 2: “Flight to Freedom” showcases the Underground Railroad, putting players in the role of Lucy, a 14-year-old Kentucky slave on the run to Ohio in the 1850s.

TV and Radio Programming. WJCT continues to broadcast television programs and radio news stories that promote education and address the dropout crisis. WJCT will also produce a documentary film that addresses the dropout crisis in Northeast Florida.