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Contact:  Barbara Hamm Lee, 757.889.9437


Challenging Circumstances: The Dropout Epidemic to air on March 26th as part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a national effort to help students stay in school.

NORFOLK: As part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a national initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to address America’s dropout crisis, WHRO has produced a 30-minute documentary about the dropout situation in Hampton Roads.  The documentary airs Monday, March 26 at 9P on WHRO-TV 15.

Challenging Circumstances: the Dropout Epidemic, produced and hosted by WHRO’s Lisa Godley, takes a look at some of the challenges facing area young people and explores why some students in Hampton Roads believe dropping out is their only option. The film explores why dropping out of high school not only hurts those students who don’t graduate, but impacts the entire community.

In making the documentary, Godley talked to students, teachers, superintendents and parents, searching for answers to why Hampton Roads consistently ranks above the statewide dropout average.  “What we found in talking to some of these students was both surprising and heartbreaking,” Godley says.  “In spite of the incredible technologies that exist to enrich the classroom experience today, some of these kids just feel disconnected from school and from education itself.”

A subsequent documentary addressing potential solutions is planned and will air on WHRO in the latter part of 2012.

WHRO is one of 20 public media stations participating in American Graduate, and is very excited to be working with local partners to help students stay on the path to a high school diploma.

About American Graduate
The public media initiative, American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, is helping communities across America identify and implement solutions to address the high school dropout crisis. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the multi-year campaign is designed to raise awareness and dialogue through national and local multiplatform programming.  Targeting communities with the highest dropout rates, the initiative also increases local engagement and action through collaborations and partnerships, and increases student engagement through teacher professional development and classroom curricula. Public radio and television stations – locally owned and operated – reach 99% of the country over the air, have built models for successful intervention in early learning, and have deep connections in the communities they serve. Nearly 600 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate and CPB is partnering with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Visit American Graduate on FacebookTwitter or

About WHRO
WHRO is a regional media company that promotes education, culture and citizenship to the citizens of Hampton Roads, Virginia through a variety of services.  Every day, thousands of viewers and listeners tune in to broadcast programming on WHRO’s four public television and eight public radio stations.  Since its founding in 1961 to support education, WHRO has employed creativity and technology to serve its mission to enrich audiences through content that educates, entertains and promotes understanding. Owned by 18 local school divisions, WHRO delivers educational and new media services to 286,000 students and 25,000 educators per month as well.

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 1,300 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.