St. John music program, student take national stage

Published 12:03 am Saturday, October 14, 2017

RESERVE — Soledad O’Brien is hosting a national broadcast from 1 to 5 p.m. today in honor of American Graduate Day 2017.

Local viewers will certainly recognize some of the content, as St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools will be prominently featured.

Broadcast from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City and streamed on, the annual multi-platform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities prepare all students for success in school, career and life.

This year’s broadcast is anchored by 16 “Stories of Champions,” a series of short documentary-style profile pieces that spotlight individuals and influential figures in local communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation through engaging mentorship and ongoing support.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District and the work it is doing in St. John the Baptist Parish will be featured on the national broadcast during a segment on how the district’s partnership with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation to foster music education in its schools is having a positive impact in its classrooms and throughout the curriculum.

St. John Superintendent Kevin George will appear live during the broadcast to discuss the implementation and results of the music program. Also appearing live is East St. John High School student Jay Morgan, who will share how his participation in the district’s music program impacts his life.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District’s segment will air at 2 p.m.

“Since teaming up with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, music in our schools has reached levels that far exceeded our expectations,” George said. “Students from the earliest ages are learning to play the piano and other instruments and this year we are starting a string orchestra at the elementary school level that will be the only such ensemble in the River Parishes.

“Music is being implemented across the curriculum and being integrated into subjects such as English language arts and math to keep students interested and to engage every part of their brains in the learning process.”

Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist and host of Hearst’s political talk show “Matter of Fact,” is again hosting American Graduate Day 2017.

The broadcast is set up around critical themes with the goal of inspiring citizens to connect with their local public media station and local community organizations, and become mentors in their communities committed to helping youth succeed.

Viewers can join the conversation on social media using the #AmGrad hashtag or by following American Graduate on Twitter and Facebook.