MSNBC to present second annual ‘Making the Grade’ special; two-hour show will be at Detroit School of Arts

NEW YORK, NY—AUGUST 1, 2011—MSNBC will air “A Stronger America: Making the Grade,” a live two-hour discussion on strengthening America through education, from the Detroit School of Arts, on Sunday, August 14 from noon until 2pm ET. The special, hosted by MSNBC Anchor Tamron Hall and co-hosted by MSNBC Contributor and TheGrio.com Correspondent Jeff Johnson, will bring together a roundtable of prominent figures to discuss parenting and early education, how to help our students compete on a global scale, the effects of the economy on education and opportunity, and other essential topics.

“All barriers to improving our nation, whether they be economic, geographic or otherwise, must be eliminated,” said Yvette Miley, Vice President and Executive Editor, MSNBC. “We must find ways to give all of our students, no matter their backgrounds, the same opportunities to have a quality education. MSNBC believes in providing the platform for these important discussions, which ultimately lead to solutions that help build a stronger America.”

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation, an organization that strengthens communities in order to provide vulnerable children and families with better opportunities, is a sponsor of “Making the Grade.”

“MSNBC’s ‘Making the Grade’ special has exhibited a deeper understanding of the challenges communities like ours confront,” said Sterling Speirn, President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “There’s no simple silver-bullet solution to poor schools, generations of poverty, and ongoing struggles with racial inequalities. That means we have to work harder to solve such entrenched problems. And by raising awareness of the issues, and shining a light on members of the community who are making a difference, MSNBC is doing its part.”

In advance of the two-hour special on August 14, MSNBC will air 3-4 education-related segments each day across its various platforms. These segments will be available to view on MSNBC’s partner sites, TheGrio.com and iVillage.com. Kelly Wallace, iVillage Chief Correspondent, will appear on MSNBC prior to the special to discuss hot-button education issues culled from the iVillage community of millions of women and parents. In addition to the live show, theGrio.com Correspondent Jeff Johnson will present taped reports highlighting the ways that teachers and Americans citizens are stepping up to help prepare America’s youth for success beyond the classroom.

MSNBC’s “A Stronger America: Making the Grade” special comes to Detroit with the cooperation of Detroit Public Schools, a district undergoing historic change to transform a system that leaders say have been failing too many of its students. The district has implemented a five-year academic plan, where students are seeing a more rigorous academic curriculum in every school, and has expanded its process to authorize additional high-performing charter schools, including five that will be open this fall.
 
‘Making the Grade’ will be on location in Detroit inside the Detroit School of the Arts, a high-performing school where students have access to top visual arts, music, dance, drama and other programs in a comprehensive college-prep setting located on the grounds of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The town hall special will include an audience of nearly 800 students and teachers from across the Detroit area.

Viewers will be able to participate in live chats on MSNBC’s Stronger America Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/StrongerAmerica), and will be able to participate in the show through the use of the #MakingTheGrade Twitter hashtag on the day of air. Clips and additional information on the show is available at StrongerAmerica.MSNBC.com.

About the W. K. Kellogg Foundation:

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (www.wkkf.org) established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, southern Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

“A Stronger America: Making the Grade” is an MSNBC special. Dana Haller is Executive Producer. Yvette Miley is Vice President and Executive Editor of MSNBC.

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