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Nationwide salute to Class of 2020 to be aired on Saturday night

John Thompson • May 13, 2020 at 9:17 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Graduation ceremonies across the nation have been disrupted this year as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), but the Class of 2020 has not been forgotten. A national celebration of the class will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday and there is a chance that some Elizabethton High School students could be seen in the show.

The program, “Graduate Together, America Honors the High School Class of 2020” will be a one-hour, commercial-free show and it will be carried by more than 20 broadcast and cable networks and streaming channels throughout the U.S. ABC News Live, Bleacher Report, California Music Channel, CNN, The CW, FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel, FOX Now, Freeform, The Roku Channel, The Washington Post and Univision — which will air a Spanish-language simulcast of the show — will join ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC as well as entertainment and streaming platforms Complex Networks, Facebook App, PEOPLE, SiriusXM, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube in airing the show. All streaming partners will share the simulcast at 8 p.m. PDT/11 p.m. EDT.

The program will honor 3 million high school seniors across the country. Curated by high school students and educators throughout the country, with the support of the American Federation of Teachers, the event will include a collection of commencement messages, musical performances, and inspirational vignettes.

The lineup for the show includes: Kane Brown, Lana Condor, David Dobrik, Dolan Twins, KAROL G, Liza Koshy, Maren Morris, National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson, Olivia Wilde and Zendaya. They will join prominent leaders, educators, and entertainers previously announced, including former President Barack Obama, LeBron James, Bad Bunny, Chika, YBN Cordae, Charli D'Amelio, Dixie D'Amelio, Loren Gray, H.E.R., the Jonas Brothers, Brandan “B-mike” Odums, Ben Platt, Henry Platt, Jonah Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams and Malala Yousafzai.

“I was inspired to teach by my mother’s transformation as she pursued her GED later in life after being denied an education as a child due to segregation. And I have continued teaching for nearly 20 years because I am inspired every day by my students and their commitment to learning,” said 2019  Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson, who teaches social studies and history at Virgie Binford Education Center in Richmond, Virginia, and is participating in the show. “Education is the most important foundation for progress, providing each child with the academic and emotional tools for success and a path to achieve their goals. I’m honored to be part of such an incredible event that recognizes the accomplishments of our nation’s high school seniors as well as the educators, mentors, and loved ones who have helped them throughout their journeys to graduation.”

Everyone will have the opportunity to interact with the #GraduateTogether campaign, leading up to the primetime graduation tribute and beyond. Students, educators, and families can share their personal stories with the campaign at graduatetogether2020.com or by tagging their posts on social media with the #GraduateTogether hashtag.

World-renowned artist JR and his participatory art project Inside Out have partnered with XQ Institute to create the #GraduateTogether Yearbook, the largest-ever high school yearbook giving graduates a place to share their portraits and stories while making a collective statement. Using the special Inside Out #GraduateTogether Lens on Snapchat any high school senior from the Class of 2020 can take a portrait and submit it to the project at graduatetogetheryearbook.com.

Partners in hosting #Graduate Together are the XQ Institute, the LeBron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation. The XQ Institute also sponsors the SQ Super School project to invent the 21st century school. That is why there is a chance that some Elizabethton High School students may be seen, since EHS is a XQ Super School.