American Graduate: Goodwill School Puts Adult Drop-outs Back on Track

The Goodwill Excel Center, which opened its doors in August, is a regular charter high school – except its students are adults, aged 19-50, who dropped out of high school. They teach all of the traditional high school courses, with students picking up where they left off.

Many people who drop out of high school eventually earn their GED, but Head of School Dr. Billy Harden says there is a big difference in earning potential between a GED and a regular high school diploma.

“We’re looking at possibly anywhere in the range of a $2,000 to $9,000 difference if a student gets their high school diploma,” Dr. Harden said. “I’m already seeing it changing their lives. I’m seeing more of our students coming each day and the learning is becoming more intrinsic. It’s starting to look and feel like a way to empower themselves. So, they not only have the ability to say ‘I have my high school diploma, but I’m a little smarter than I was when I got here,’ and I think that’s very important.”

We spoke to Matilda Zamarripa, who dropped out her senior year of high school. Matilda has worked successfully in the beauty industry for almost 20 years but has always wanted to earn her high school diploma.

“You kind of carry that little secret around. Like oh, I’ve never finished,” Matilda said. “My daughter definitely inspired me when she was graduating high school. Going to her graduation two years ago reminded me like ‘wow, I never got to experience this’ but I got to experience it through her. She’s now on her second year at Texas State University and that really inspired me you know, I really want[ed] to go back to school.”

You can hear more about Matilda and the Goodwill Excel Center in the video above.

A shortened version of this story will air locally as a KLRU News Briefs during PBS NewsHour Weekend, Sunday, November 23 at 6:30pm. Do you have an American Graduate story idea? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at CivicSummit@klru.org, post a comment, or tweet at us using #amgradtx. 

 

KLRU NewsBriefs: Education Advocates Focus on Attendance, UT Program Supports Financially Independent Students

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The school year is now in full swing, and we have two education stories during PBS NewsHour this weekend to help ease you into things.

On Saturday, we hear from AISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz about why attendance is one of the district’s top priorities.

“We can tell from early on, as early as 5th grade, we can look at if a student is meeting promotion standards, if the student has a good attendance record and if a student is passing all of his or her classes,” Dr. Cruz said. “If that’s not happening, there’s a student who is at risk of not graduating on time with his or her class. [Our first step is] an immediate conversation with the parents to see what we can do to help out the student and the family.”

On Sunday, we hear about Horns Helping Horns, a group from New Student Services on the UT campus which offers emotional and financial support to students who are not receiving any financial help from family.

“I think students have challenges no matter what their background is and I think our students and our community a lot of times because they don’t have that emotional and financial support are dealing with a lot more stuff,” Esmer Bedia, the Horns Helping Horns Coordinator said. “But, the majority of our students are succeeding and graduating and I think that’s because we’re telling them, ya’ll can do it, you will do it and they do succeed.”

KLRU NewsBriefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend, Saturday and Sunday evening at 6:30. 

 

 

 

KLRU NewsBriefs: Austin’s First Public Montessori School & Huston-Tillotson Receives Largest Donation Ever

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This weekend during PBS NewsHour we have two East Austin education stories.

On Saturday, we’ll introduce you to one of Austin’s newest charter schools and the city’s only public Montessori school: Magnolia Montessori for All. Founder and Principal Sara Cotner told KLRU about why she chose to locate the school in East Austin.

“In Austin there are more than 20 Montessori schools and they’re all private and they’re all west of I-35. East Austin is this beautiful opportunity where there’s a lot of diversity, a lot of different kinds of families, a rich history of commitment to the community,” Ms. Cotner said. “We feel really honored that we were able to find land that was available here and connect with families who were really interested in this vision.”

The school opens August 4th with 3-year-olds through 3rd graders in portable classrooms. They plan to add a grade level every year through 8th grade. Construction is still underway at the site.

On Sunday, we’ll air our conversation with Ada Anderson, an Austin Civil Rights pioneer who donated $3 million this week to Huston-Tillotson University – the largest gift the school has ever received. The funds will be used to build the Sandra Joy Anderson Community Health and Wellness Center (pictured above), a facility which will serve students and surrounding residents. It is named for Mrs. Anderson’s daughter.

“We all know more and more the need for mental health and the plans for the building just fit so perfectly to what [my daughter and her husband] did,” Mrs. Anderson told us. “There are a lot of people [in East Austin] who don’t have a lot of money who I think will be served there so that’s one of the really exciting things to me.”

HT tells us work will begin on the new building very soon.

These stories air on KLRU at 6:30 on Saturday and Sunday evening during PBS NewsHour Weekend. 

 

KLRU News Briefs: Hole in the Wall Turns 40, Artists Beautify North Austin Fence

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KLRU News Briefs are back this weekend during PBS NewsHour after two weeks off. This weekend we’ll hear from a group of local artists who decided to use art to beautify their North Austin neighborhood and about a birthday celebration kicking off this week for the Hole in the Wall’s 40th anniversary.

On Saturday night tune in for an excerpt from the Arts in Context Short Beautiful Fences, the story behind a mural on a fence along Lamar Boulevard between Payton Gin and Rundberg.

“I started out just [painting] “Beauty Will Save the World” in black and white, just the lettering, knowing it would be tagged,” Artist Rigel Thurston tells us. “The people who tagged it…it was too perfect. So, the idea is to include the first round of taggers because they’re part of this neighborhood too.”

On Sunday, the owner of The Hole in the Wall, Will Tanner, tells us about the 40th anniversary party that kicks off on June 19. Plus, he talks about how the bar has evolved over the past four decades.

“The Hole in the Wall is this great place that’s been here a long time and it’s had to change a lot to survive, but I think what has been kept from the past is what makes us great,” Tanner says. Ultimately [this] is a place for like minded, and maybe even not like minded, people to come and enjoy themselves and enjoy live art…eat good food and drink great local beer and just spend some of your life.”

You can find out more about the lineup of bands performing during the celebration here.

KLRU News Briefs air this Saturday and Sunday at 6:30pm during PBS NewsHour Weekend. 

 

KLRU News Brief: ACL Hall of Fame Inducts Inaugural Class

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On Sunday evening during PBS NewsHour Weekend, our News Brief is a glimpse inside last week’s Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Darrell Royal and Bill Arhos were inducted in a ceremony in KLRU’s Studio 6A, the original home of Austin City Limits.

All have a storied history with the program. Nelson appeared on the pilot in 1974 and Vaughan & Double Trouble performed in 1984 and 1990. Bill Arhos is credited with creating Austin City Limits. Coach Darrell Royal was known for hosting “pickin parties” at his home with Austin musicians, and was an early supporter and fan of the show. Seats were always reserved for Coach Royal and his wife Edith. She accepted the induction on his behalf.

The ceremony featured performances by the inductees as well as Doyle Bramhall II, Mike Farris, Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Lukas Nelson, Robert Randolph and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

The Hall of Fame induction is part of KLRU’s recognition of Austin City Limit’s 40th Anniversary Season. Portions of the induction ceremony will air in a primetime PBS special in the fall.

KLRU News Briefs air every Saturday and Sunday during PBS NewsHour Weekend. 

 

 

 

 

Antiques Roadshow coming to Austin 6/28

Post updated 4/8: Deadline for ticket entry was April 8th, 2014. Antiques Roadshow will notify those receiving tickets.

Antiques Roadshow, PBS’s most-watched primetime series, has announced its Summer 2014 Tour destinations including Austin! The show will film in Austin on June 28th, 2014.

Admission to the Antiques Roadshow Austin event is free, but tickets are required and must be obtained in advance from the show’s producers. Ticket applications and complete ticketing rules will be available on pbs.org/antiques or by dialing toll-free 1-888-762-3749. Ticket applications must be received by Monday, April 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Tickets will be awarded by random drawing.

Other Summer 2014 Tour destinations include: Bismarck, North Dakota; Santa Clara, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York; and Charleston, West Virginia. Programs recorded in those locations will make up the 11-time Emmy® Award nominated production’s 19th broadcast season on PBS, airing in 2015.

Antiques Roadshow couldn’t be happier to embark on our second summer of a beefed up, eight-city tour,” said Antiques Roadshow executive producer Marsha Bemko. “From a first-time visit to West Virginia to a long-awaited return to New York’s thriving antiques scene, we are thrilled about each and every city we are traveling to.”

Additional information about the Summer 2014 Tour is available at pbs.org/antiques.

 

KLRU and PBS Kids at the Texas Book Festival!

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KLRU Educational Services will be on hand for two events connected to the Texas Book Festival. The first, a joint presentation by the Texas Book Festival, KLRU, and the AISD Department of Communications and Community Engagement is a book reading and signing by the bilingual children’s author Yuyi Morales, who was profiled by PBS and regularly has a spot airing during the PBS Kids block (which you can see here). The book signing will take place at Mathews Elementary, 906 West Lynn, on Friday, October 25, from 4-5 pm.

The second event will be our three-hour appearance at the Texas Book Festival itself, on Sunday, October 27, from 12 noon – 3 pm. We will be at the Children’s Activity Tent (on Colorado St. between 12th & 13th) with our iPads loaded with learning apps and with none other than Clifford the Big Red Dog.

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Genealogy Roadshow selection process complete

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We’re excited about Austin’s overwhelming  interest in the new PBS series Genealogy Roadshow. The show’s producers  have received hundreds of responses and said they wish they could share all the fascinating stories that have been presented.

PBS says the submission process for Austin is now complete and all stories have been selected. The producers said the selection process was difficult because of all the fascinating stories but they know that all our viewers will love learning about Austin, Texas, and U.S. history through the lens of neighbors in your community. Be sure to tune in to the premiere of Genealogy Roadshow, Monday, September 23 on KLRU.

Downton Abbey Season 3 Starts 1/6

Are you eagerly anticipating the return of DOWNTON ABBEY? Be sure to check out the third season of the turn-of-the century drama with all new episodes, beginning January 6th on KLRU-TV at 8pm!

The Great War is over and the long-awaited engagement of Lady Mary and Matthew is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate. Shirley MacLaine joins the much-loved cast, which includes Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton and many others. “No family is ever what it seems from the outside,” observes Smith’s shrewd character.

Sat., Aug. 25: KLRU joins with Whole Foods and PBS Kids in Fantastic Organic!

PBS Parents has recently launched a new website with Whole Foods called Fantastic Organic where you can find collected tips, ideas, recipes, videos and games to encourage you and your family to explore organic produce and foods.

KLRU is joining in the fun, too! Saturday, August 25, the new Whole Foods Market at Arbor Trails in South Austin will have a fun run, an in-store organic scavenger hunt, and our very own Biscuit Brothers! The events start at 8:00 am with the fun run at 8:00 am, then yoga at 10:00 am. The Biscuits take the stage at noon as the scavenger hunt commences. While there, pick up a schedule of our fall PBS Kids lineup, including the debut of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and consider the KLRU Explorers family membership!