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Not Just Television: How PBS Stations Make an Impact in Local Communities

Giving Tuesday | PBS local stations

December 3, 2019

PBS Staff Writers

You may have heard that today is Giving Tuesday, a global day to help your local community. We wanted to highlight some ways that our local PBS stations give the community. Because when we donate to a local station, we are helping to support communities as much as we are supporting the programming.

Giving local artists a platform

This is an episode of ARTEFFECTS from station KNPB in Reno, Nevada. It is one of many programs produced by local stations that feature artists in their communities.

Of course, stations across the country support local artists in different ways. Last year in Denver, Colorado, Rocky Mountain PBS partnered with Colorado College to support and promote the work of up-and-coming filmmakers across the state. WNED made their foyer an art gallery to showcases artists from the Western New York and Southern Ontario regions.

Acknowledging and supporting unique needs of their communities

Station WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan, connected community partners and Autism Spectrum Disorder researchers from Michigan State University with neighborhood families to raise awareness about autism. Oh yes, that's Julia, the first character with autism on Sesame Street, you see with members of the WKAR community.

Of course, stories of stations recognizing and supporting their unique communities occur often and at every station. In Florida, WUFT participated in special events for kids at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and local schools and libraries. PBSSoCal hosted an event with early childhood educators from Compton School District to discuss diverse topics such as tech integration in the classroom to engaging support from families. WUCF created Meet The Helpers, a website for parents and educators to teach children about important community helpers so they are better prepared in emergency situations.

When the going gets tough, your PBS station keeps on going

Local stations focus on public safety. The WARN system, for example, protects communities by keeping communications channels open during a crisis. Houston Public Media describes how it works in their community better than we can.

Of course, Houston weathered the storm and provided up-to-the minute news for first responders during Hurricane Harvey. And, when another local station’s news room flooded, Houston Public Media opened its doors and hosted a makeshift newsroom to serve all Houstonians.

In California, we saw wildfires burn through so many communities last year. Local station KIXE in Redding, California serves a region where the Camp Fire took homes and schools with speed and indiscriminate ferocity. In addition to maintaining the broadcast, KIXE raised funds for school supplies and books for local children, as many had not been able to return to school. General Manager Brian Cox explained at the time, “We hope to bring Daniel Tiger to deliver those materials soon, and hopefully we can bring some smiles to some young faces.”

How does your local station give back to your community? What does giving to your PBS station mean to you?

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