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Staying Power: Helping Students Reach Graduation


CPB American Graduate

According to research by the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute, the lost lifetime earnings in Arkansas for 2009 high school dropouts is more than 2.8 billion dollars. Savings in Arkansas health care costs alone would be 93.7 million over the lifetime if dropouts had all received diplomas. They also assert that if Arkansas' male high school graduation rate increased by merely five percent, Arkansas would save almost 7.7 million dollars a year. While the Arkansas graduation rate is higher than the national average, further analysis is needed. When examining district by district and in subgroups (rural, poverty, minorities), graduation rates decreased dramatically.

"The high school dropout crisis is one of the most severe problems and challenges that face America today. It is not only a crisis that affects education, it affects the moral and economic fiber of our country to its roots. We have got to face this issue and face it now." Former U.S. Senator David Pryor

AETN with support from the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute and the Arkansas Department of Education applied for and was awarded a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's American Graduate Initiative. This grant will assist in opening dialogue about Arkansas's dropout rate and create an awareness of efforts around the state to improve Arkansas's standing. We want you to be a part of that dialogue and action.

Staying Power: Helping Students Reach Graduation is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen www.americangraduate.org, a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America address the dropout crisis.

Additional funding for this project provided by: University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute, Safe Schools Initiative Division, and Arkansas Department of Education

Related Programs: "Mentoring Youth" is a one-hour live show consists of highly motivated individuals from various organizations that represent the iBelieve Community Coalition, including Centers for Youth and Families, Let Our Violence End (L.O.V.E.), Boys and Girls Club, and the OK Program among others who are developing creative ways for involving volunteers, mentors, and tutors in our community.