As the school year begins, PBS stations offer free broadcast TV programs that support at-home learning for PreK-12th grade; digital resources provide educators and families with learning options for new school routines
ARLINGTON, VA; AUGUST 19, 2020 – As the nation prepares for the beginning of a new school year unlike any other, PBS and member stations are helping support educators, parents and caregivers with a variety of free high-quality, accessible educational media resources. Available to more than 97% of the country through over-the-air television access, the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel (for young learners ages 2-8) and the WORLD channelAt-Home Learning Service (for learners grades 6-12) will feature broadcast programming linked to at-home learning resources that can be used by educators to supplement distance learning plans, or by parents to provide added enrichment and support for children’s educational needs.
Research shows that more than 24 million Americans still lack access to fast and reliable broadband internet.* PBS has the ability to reach a majority of these households with free, over-the-air station broadcast and a deep trove of digital resources (PBS LearningMedia, pbskids.org, PBS KIDS for Parents, and more) designed to support both in-school and at-home learning for students, which was critical at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. When COVID-19 shut down schools across much of the country, PBS LearningMedia, an online destination that offers free access to thousands of classroom resources, saw its users quadruple to nearly 4 million per month. Additionally, young children’s engagement with PBS KIDS content increased notably, with reach growing by 15% among kids 2-8 on-air, streaming by nearly 30% and game play by 40%.**
Leading these charges locally, PBS stations across the country forged partnerships with their school districts to address specific, state standards-aligned educational needs in each community, including filming and broadcasting local teachers’ classroom lessons.
“We recognize that back to school this year is particularly stressful for many educators and families, especially those who lack access to reliable high-speed Internet and the dedicated devices often required for distance learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Building on 50 years of public service, PBS and our member stations are prepared to ensure equitable access to free and trusted resources in a variety of formats to help meet the needs of students, parents and teachers wherever they are this school year.”
Additional details on the available fall offerings can be found below.
BROADCAST (Check local listings)
- PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel: PBS KIDS offers anytime access to more than twenty series aligned to curriculum goals – from science and math, to literacy and life lessons. Available on-air via your local PBS station, and livestreaming on the PBS KIDS Video app and pbskids.org. Related parent and teacher resources are also available (see below).
- WORLD Channel: In partnership with WGBH, from 12 noon to 5 pm ET weekdays, the WORLD Channel offers programs on math, science, social studies and English language arts, curated by educators and aligned to related digital resources on PBS LearningMedia.
DIGITAL AND PRINTABLE RESOURCES
- PBS LearningMedia(a partnership between PBS and WGBH): Educators can find at-home learning resources connected to current broadcast programming, professional learning support, lesson planning kits and more in the PreK-12 Resources for New School Routines collection, which will continue to be updated in the coming weeks. Educator resources in Spanish are also available.
- pbskids.org & PBS KIDS Video App: Full episodes, clips, games and more educational tools for kids 2-8.
- PBS KIDS for Parents: Parents can find tips, resources, printables, an Activity Finder and more tools for learning at home with young children, including a special virtual event: Prepping for a Very Different School Year.
- PBS LearningMedia Newsletter: A weekly newsletter for educators PreK through 12th grade, showcasing digital offerings that support new school routines.
- PBS KIDS for Parents: This newsletter provides curated resources, including video content, digital games, DIY activities, and parent-directed information to support in-home learning.
** Google Analytics March ‘19 – May ‘19, February ‘20 – May ‘20; AppFigures March ‘19 – May ’19, February ‘20 – May
‘20Nielsen NPOWER L+SD, 3/16-5/10/20, All PBS stations, M-Su 6AM-10PM, Reach 75% unif, 1+ min., K2-8.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 126 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
About WORLD Channel
WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and fact-based informational programming that helps us understand conflicts, movements and cultures that may be distinct from our own. WORLD's original content examines issues too often ignored by mainstream media by sharing stories from a diversity of voices. WORLD has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award and other national honors -- including 1st and 2nd place Native Media Awards, an RTNDA Kaleidoscope Award, a Media for a Just Society Award, two Lesbian & Gay Journalist Awards, two Gracies, an Asian American Journalists Award and many other honors specifically for its diverse content. WORLD is a growing platform carried by 174 partner stations in markets representing more than 72% of US TV households. It is also available on WORLDChannel.organd social media platforms. Funding for WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and Artworks. WORLD Channel is curated by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT).