Over the next few days WUNC will present a series of American Graduate Specials from State of The Re:Union. These programs air on Thursday at 12N & 9p with a a second program on Friday at 12N & Saturday morning at 6.
Thurs 12N & 9p: Dropouts to Graduates
First, State of the Re:Union travels to Holyoke, Massachusetts, home of the Care Center. an alternative school just for pregnant and parenting teens who’ve dropped out of high school. It’s not your typical GED program, either: it’s modeled on a prep school, so students are learning fencing, rowing, yoga and poetry along with basic math and reading. Their personal histories are fraught with homelessness, domestic violence, gangs, food insecurity—the entire student body is living at or below 50 % of the poverty level, and 2/3rds of them dropped out of high school by the 10th grade.
Despite all that, between 70 and 85 percent of Care Center students go on to college. In this American Graduate special, State of the Re:Union goes deep inside this school—learning its philosophy and the life stories of students and teachers—to explore what it takes to turn a teen mom’s life around.
Fri Aug 9 12N & Sat Aug 10 6a: Summer in Sanctuary
Every day in America, more than 7,000 students drop out of school. In a State of the Re:Union first, this episode combines radio drama and documentary to explore America’s dropout epidemic through the intimate story of one man’s attempt to make a difference in the lives of a group of high-risk kids. Based on the celebrated off-broadway show by SOTRU host Al Letson, this episode chronicles Letson’s journey teaching at a summer camp at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, a community center in an economically challenged neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida.