Local Action

WHRO is a consortium of 19 school divisions with a primary focus on educational services, which we have been providing for more than 50 years.  Thanks to the federal investment in public broadcasting through CPB, WHRO is part of the American Graduate: Lets Make it Happen national initiative of over 80 public radio and television stations to raise the high school graduation rate to 90% by 2020.  Through the use of its resources and ability to convene, WHRO is working to improve graduation and employment outcomes for all students beginning with preschool, through high school, and on to eventual careers.


WHRO’s Ready to Learn initiative supports the American Graduate goals by working to improve children’s pre-K and early childhood readiness and educational success.  Through school partnerships, and community events, WHRO’s RTL works to give parents access to programs that will help them develop awareness and provide them with tools to help their children with early language and math skills development.  WHRO will be using PBS’s transmedia content, including TV shows, websites, online games, interactive whiteboard and smart phone applications, to provide high need children and their families with a strong foundation to build lifelong learning success.  For more information on Ready to Learn, click here. 


High School

Public media has the capacity to bring together residents to explore civic issues and solutions.  In support of our region’s students, WHRO is convening community stakeholder groups to work together to improve outcomes for youth. These groups will work to increase understanding about the challenges to graduation for at-risk youth and help community partners develop action plans that will provide long term solutions. 

Though there is no one right answer to prevent youth from leaving school.  There is, however; one proven strategy to help keep them on track, and that is with the support of an American Graduate Champion.  An American Graduate Champion is anyone who commits their time, skills, and resources to help youth succeed.  These caring individuals play an active role in improving the educational/career outcomes for youth. 

Colin and Alma Powell discuss the importance of supporting youth in At-risk students need more help from us, not Washington.


Work Readiness

More recently, WHRO launched a new service, SkillsOnline.org. In the course of planning SkillsOnline, we identified that attention to workplace readiness has been neglected in Virginia’s K-12 schools and many youth are not prepared to enter the workforce. These workforce readiness skills identified by UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center and others are crucial competencies for all individuals entering the workforce. 

Recognizing this need, WHRO is creating 21 blended learning Work Readiness modules covering the requisite skills sets, which will be freely available to every K-12 school division, community college, WIB, state and county agency, and employer in the Commonwealth.


Contact Us

For more information about The American Graduate or how to get invovled, please contact:

Nancy Rogan at 757.889.9415 

Sponsored By: