Austin students included in PBS NewsHour Inaugural Student Reporting Lab Academy

Reporting labs

Screen shot 2015-04-21 at 10.11.00 AMTwo Austin students have been chosen to participate in the inaugural PBS Newshour Student Academy. Ben Root and Alex Trevino from Stephen F. Austin High School are among the 18 fellows selected by PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (@reportinglabs) to participate in the first SRL Academy in Washington, D.C., this June and July. Middle and high school fellows will work alongside public media mentors to produce original news content. They also will help program leaders develop strategies to engage young people in news and current affairs and ensure that youth voices are active in the conversations about critical issues facing the nation.

Fellows were chosen by a selection committee composed of the Student Reporting Labs staff and teachers.

“The students are coming from all over the country to celebrate their amazing journalistic accomplishments and help us build an even better program,” said Leah Clapman, Managing Editor, Education. “Our shared mission is to create learning experiences that inspire young people to be active citizens and solution-seekers.”

The 2015 SRL Academy Class (in alphabetical order):

Georgie Abbey, Royal Oak High School
Annie Collick, Royal Oak High School
Isabel Evans, Philip’s Academy Charter School
John Fabella, Maui Waena Intermediate School
Chloe Golan, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High
Evan Gulock, Royal Oak High School
Alexander Lischak, Trumbull Career & Technical
Alex Maxwell, Judge Memorial Catholic High School
Sydney Payne, Carlsbad High School
Keenan Penn II, Fraser High School
Alizah Rizvi, Philip’s Academy Charter School
Ben Root, Stephen F. Austin High School
Jakira Smith, Free Spirit Media
Giel Marie Tolentino, Maui High School
Alex Trevino, Stephen F. Austin High School
Nicholas Weiss, Cedar Crest High School
Zoe Whitney, Maui High School
Erykah Williams, Vista PEAK Preparatory

To learn more about the students, please visit the official SRL Academy Tumblr.

 

Stories of Service

KLRU Highlights

In honor of Memorial Day on May 25, KLRU presents programing throughout the month of May celebrating veterans and their families.

Operation Appreciation - May 21 at 9 pm, May 24 at 6 pm
Each week, retirees from Georgetown, TX, give heartfelt thank yous to soldiers reporting for duty at Fort Hood as well as those injured in combat. This documentary follows the volunteers as they collect cookies, brownies and doughnuts from local stores, and baked goods made by people in the community to distribute at the Army base. The retirees travel more than 50 miles with cars filled to the brim with treats to hand the treats to hundreds of soldiers getting processed at Fort Hood every Thursday. Not only do these volunteers walk the lines giving treats and saying thanks to the incoming troops, but they also bring food to the Wounded Warriors buildings, where severely injured soldiers are recovering, and to the Fisher House, which gives a home to military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization. Many of the volunteers are veterans themselves, and have incredible stories of their own survival in war.

Lincoln Awards: A Concert for Veterans & The Military Family - May 22 at 8 pm
Enjoy a concert in celebration of the Lincoln Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement and excellence in providing opportunities and support to veterans and military families.

Salute to the Troops: In Performance at the White House – May 22 at 9 pm
President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama welcome Mary J. Blige, Common, John Fogerty, Willie Nelson, Romeo Santos, and also active duty military members U.S. Army SGT. Christiana R. Ball, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matt Smith and Capt. John Ed Auer will offer a musical tribute to the service and sacrifice of our troops and the often overlooked contribution of their families back home.

We Served Too: The Story of Women’s Air Force Service Pilots – May 24 at 1:30 pm
This is a story of a group of young, determined and courageous women during World War II who broke through barriers and shattered stereotypes…the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).

Dick Winters: “Hang Tough” – May 24 at 3 pm
Hang Tough honors one of World War II’s most respected combat leaders – Major Richard D. Winters. Emmy-winning British actor Damian Lewis (Homeland), narrates the documentary and shares his thoughts on Winters, who he portrayed in the acclaimed HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. “Hang Tough” traces Winters’ formative years growing up in Pennsylvania, his development as a leader in the U.S. Army, the famed attack on Brecourt Manor on D-Day, and the dedication on June 6, 2012 of the Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Normandy, France. In addition to Winters’ own recollections, original members of Winters’ unit, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne, speak of his commitment to his men, his heroism and his legacy.

Day of Days: June 6, 1944 – May 24 at 4 pm
On June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied servicemen landed on the shores of northern France, tasked with liberating western Europe from Nazi tyranny. Over the ensuing hours and days, the men faced decimating machine-gun fire, mortars and artillery, eventually fighting their way inland, but not before suffering a staggering number of casualties. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landing, four D-Day veterans gather at the famed Museum of World War II outside of Boston, Mass. to share their experiences from that fateful “Day of Days.” Cameras eavesdrop on their conversations as they vividly recall details from their ordeal – from the perils of the amphibious assault to the invasion’s gruesome aftermath. Their interactions with one another yield long-buried, and often painful, memories. They recount their transformations from boys to men, reveal their uneasiness with the term “hero,” and grapple with why they survived when so many others did not.

National Memorial Day Concert – May 24 at 7 pm and 8:30 pm
Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise co-host the 26th broadcast of this night of remembrance honoring the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. The concert airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before an audience of hundreds of thousands, millions at home, and to our troops around the world via American Forces Network.

Homefront – May 25 at 8 pm
View intimate portraits of America’s military families, with unprecedented access to soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen and women in the all-volunteer military. The revealing documentary tells stories of pride and patriotism, sacrifice and resilience.

Arts In Context: In Their Own Words – May 28 at 7:30 pm
Darden Smith had never had a real conversation with a U.S. military service member until he met Lt. Col. Fred Cale. He quickly realized that they had much in common – both were music lovers. Through this meeting, Smith realized that the divide between soldier and civilian was not what he thought it was. He saw the potential for music and songwriting to help soldiers transition back into civilian life. Songwriting With Soldiers offers intensely immersive retreats to military veterans and active duty soldiers where they write songs about their experiences with the help of professional songwriters. Equal parts cathartic release and creative endeavor, SongwritingWith: Soldiers offers a chance at healing to the people who need it most.

Just Announced! Overheard tapes Taylor Branch April 21

Overheard taping announcement

Please join KLRU’s Overheard with Evan Smith for an interview with Taylor Branch tomorrow, April 21 at 10:15am in KLRU’s Studio 6A (map). Doors open at 9:45am. RSVP NOW

Photo by: Jean Pierre Isbendjian

Photo by: Jean Pierre Isbendjian

Taylor Branch is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, historian, and public speaker, best known for his Civil Rights era trilogy America in the King Years. The first book in the trilogy, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63 won him the Pulitzer when it was published in 1989. In addition to the King Years books, Branch wrote The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President in 2009. In 2011 his article for The Atlantic entitled “The Shame of College Sports” started a national debate and was later expanded into an e-book called The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA. Branch is in Austin to deliver the 2015 Frank Deford Lecture on Sports Journalism.

We hope you’ll be there as Overheard with Evan Smith continues a fifth season of interviews featuring engaging conversations with fascinating people. The show airs on PBS stations nationally and presents a wide range of thoughtmakers and tastemakers from the fields of politics, journalism, business, arts, sports and more.

You can watch past episodes anytime at klru.org/overheard.

American Graduate Champion: Communities In Schools of Central Texas AmeriCorps Members

FEATURED_Champion2

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

communities-n-schoolsToday’s Champion are Communities In Schools of Central Texas AmeriCorps Members. Communities In Schools of Central Texas AmeriCorps members serve for 10 months as tutors and mentors on local school campuses with the highest concentrations of students living in poverty. The support they provide empowers students to succeed in school. AmeriCorps is a strong National Service program and others would benefit from knowing about this story and the opportunities that AmeriCorps offers across the country. Due to their experience with the CIS of CT AmeriCorps program, some of our members have changed their career path towards a life in social work or teaching. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “The members serve tirelessly as mentors and tutors to remove barriers that may be preventing their students from being successful in school. By working right on local school campuses, CIS of CT AmeriCorps members meet students where they are and they provide regular, ongoing supports that students can count on. CIS of CT AmeriCorps members act as caring, adult role models. They are invested in the success of the students they work with. Thanks to the CIS of CT AmeriCorps program, Communities In Schools serves an extra 1,200 students every year.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Bako Ambianda

FEATURED_Champion2

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

bako-ambiandaToday’s Champion is Bako Ambianda. Bako is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, philanthropist and an engineering student. He is the author of Destined to Win in the Game of Life, a self-improvement book that provides a blueprint of how people can tap into their potentials. He was a 2014 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Competitor and has served as the Vice President of Public Relations for the University of Texas At Austin Sciences Toastmasters. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “What began as a young man’s desire to overcome his own physical and emotional obstacles has grown into his mission to help people reach their highest potential and obtain their greatest goals. He delivers a high energy message that tells people through firsthand experience on how to live up to their full potential.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Les Brown

FEATURED_Champion2

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

les-brownToday’s Champion is Les Brown. Brown is a renowned public speaker, author and television personality. He has risen to national prominence by delivering a high energy message which tells people how to shake off mediocrity and live up to their greatness. He is motivating and training today’s generation to be achievers and leaders. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “I discovered Les Brown just by searching motivational videos online. As I watched his videos, they were so touching that I decided to order one of his books, LIVE YOUR DREAMS. As I read through the book, the stories touched my life. I felt he had walked through many experiences I could relate with. I felt he wrote that book for me. I developed a stronger vision for my life. Now, I embrace a personal philosophy that goes hand-in-hand to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

 

KLRU News Briefs: Teaching Language Through Dance, Lawmakers Dive into Shark Fin Debate

This weekend during PBS NewsHour, we talk to the Austin native behind Dance Another World, an English immersion non-profit taught through dance. Plus, The Texas Tribune highlights what happened at the State Capitol this week.

Dance Another World works with non-native English speaking girls from primarily low socio-economic areas. They currently teach dance after school at T.A. Brown Elementary in North Austin, but they recently received their vendor license from AISD, which will allow them to offer the program in more schools next school year.

The program is a mixture of dance, reading, and writing in English. 

“There’s so much research that shows the benefits of growing up bilingual. Language is such a mental thing,” says Dawn Mann, Founder of Dance Another World. “We know a dance is a story, so we will read and write our own stories, and then we’ll portray them in a dance. It lets the girls work on their English but put their energy towards the art and dance.”

You can watch that story in the video above.

This week’s Texas Political Roundup from The Texas Tribune centers around end of life care for pregnant women, the Senate budget, and the debate surrounding the sale of shark fins.

A House bill by Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin) would remove a line in state law that requires pregnant women remain on life support, regardless of their last wishes. “Marlise’s Law” is in memory of Marlise Muñoz who was declared brain dead at a Fort Worth hospital and kept alive for 62 days despite her family’s wishes.

Also debated in the House this week was a bill by Rep. Eddie Lucio III which would make the practice of purchasing and selling shark fins in Texas illegal. The House passed the measure, which now goes to Senate. You can see the Roundup in the video below.

KLRU News Briefs air locally every Saturday and Sunday evening at 6:30 during PBS NewsHour Weekend. Saturday’s story is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, which is aimed at increasing awareness around the dropout crisis in Central Texas. 

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. 

Community Cinema: Limited Partnership 5/5

Join KLRU and the Austin Public Library for a screening and discussion of A Path Appears on Tuesday, May 5th, at Windsor Park Branch Library (5833 Westminster Dr. Austin, TX 78723). The free event is open to the public and takes place from 7 pm to 9 pm

May 5: Limited Partnership
Decades before The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, one gay couple, a Filipino American and an Australian, fell in love and over the course of 40 years took on the U.S. government to fight for marriage and immigration equality.

American Graduate Champion: Megan Sheffield

FEATURED_Champion2

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

megan-sheffieldToday’s Champion is Megan Sheffield. Megan Sheffield is an immigration lawyer that has been advocating for undocumented students and families. Megan volunteers regularly to organize DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) educational forums and clinics. She often takes pro-bono cases and defends families. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Her kindness and advocacy for immigrant families is an inspiration. Megan is a tireless advocate and makes a point to getting to know and build strong relationships with the families and students she helps.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

 

Q Night At The Movies April 18

This week on Q Night At The Movies: Go inside the mind of Mad Men’s anti-hero Don Draper with the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner on an all-new On Story. Plus, Harry Knowles chats with horror director Wes Craven, and our feature film follows a convent of nuns to a desolate valley in the Himalayas in the psychological drama Black Narcissus.

On Story Mad Men: A Conversation with Matthew Weiner at 7:30
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner dissects the culture, identity and status quo of the show, and the psychology behind its beloved anti-hero Don Draper. Followed by Faraday Okoro’s short film, Full Windsor, about a young boy’s quest to preserve a meaningful piece of his past.

Feature Film Black Narcissus at 8 pm
Anglican nuns face a variety of pressures as they attempt to maintain a convent school and hospital in the Himalayas.

Ain’t It Cool With Harry Knowles Wes Craven at 9:30 pm
Horror guru Wes Craven, Director A Nightmare on Elm St/Scream franchises, and Harry explore the world of horror and discuss early battles with censors to the current trend on television with shows like The Walking Dead, which seem to have no limits with graphic content. Viewers will enjoy rare behind the scenes anecdotes into the making of The Swamp Thing and his lesser known art film The Fireworks Woman.

Film School Shorts When We Were Young at 10:15 pm
Blue Boy (UCLA) — Credited with saving a kid’s life, a teenage lifeguard decides to act on his romantic obsession with a gorgeous country club wife. Directed by Alex Jablonski. Bombshell (NYU) — All Daisy wants to do is be one of the boys, but when she tags along with her brother and his troublesome friends, she realizes where her heart really lies. Written and directed by Erin Sanger.