The doctors are in as Sesame Workshop tackles effects of mass incarceration

Two doctors who focus on the relationship between incarceration and public health have teamed up with a Sesame Street Muppet to call attention to the issue. Prompted by Sesame Workshop’s “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration” initiative, the video released in October features two experts on prison health, the creator of the Sesame Workshop initiative and Alex, a Muppet with electric blue hair and an incarcerated father. The video followed the publication of “Sesame Street Goes to Jail: Physicians Should Follow,” an article in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Drs. Dora Dumont, Scott Allen and Jody Rich called for physicians to pay more attention to mass incarceration and took note of Sesame Street’s involvement.

D.C. American Graduate event amplifies youth voices

The five winners of American Graduate’s Raise Up hip-hop and spoken-word competition performed their original poems on the stage of Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center during a star-studded celebration Sept. 28. The Raise Up competition aimed to include more young people in conversations about high-school dropout rates. It came about through a partnership between CPB’s American Graduate initiative and Youth Speaks, a San Francisco–based nonprofit that seeks to empower young people through writing and performing. The contest was part of the American Graduate: Lets Make It Happen initiative, which focuses on helping communities reduce dropout rates.

American Graduate announces winners of spoken-word competition

Judges and the public have selected five winners of American Graduate’s Raise Up hip-hop and spoken word competition, which asked students to share original poems about challenges that lead students to drop out of high school. The winners will perform their poems live Sunday at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at an event hosted by Glynn Washington, host and e.p. of public radio’s Snap Judgment. Each winner will also receive a $5,000 scholarship from the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. Raise Up is a partnership between CPB’s American Graduate initiative and San Francisco-based Youth Speaks, an organization that seeks to empower youth through writing and the spoken word. Their national competition was designed to give students a platform for joining the conversation about dropout rates.

St. Louis stations dedicate Public Media Commons

Some 800 people attended the Sept. 13 dedication of Public Media Commons in St. Louis, a unique 9,000–square-foot outdoor media environment located between Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio that features two-story–high video walls and 5-foot interactive touch screens. The $6 million project, funded by local contributions, is a collaboration among the stations and the University of Missouri-St.

Web videos from WVPB connect careers and education for middle-schoolers

WVPB-TV is returning to its roots as the Educational Broadcasting Authority of West Virginia as it shifts production priorities from local programming to digital content for teachers. When Scott Finn took over as executive director in February 2013, the board gave him a mandate to “specifically help pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade educators, parents and students,” he said. “That was clear when I was hired.” Finn has an educational background himself, having worked as a sixth-grade social studies and English teacher. So the Charleston-based station is cutting back longtime weekly shows Doctors on Call and The Law Works to occasional productions and focusing instead on new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) interactive videos to help middle-schoolers think about future careers. Educators specifically asked for the content, Finn said.