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December 1, 2020
By Beatrice Alvarez
Today is Giving Tuesday, a global movement that encourages everyone to give back to their communities. We wanted to highlight some ways that your local PBS stations give back in their own communities. Below is a list of some of the projects happening in your neighborhood. You can also find this list on the PBS Twitter feed today in case you want to show your station some social media love.
Again, this is but a fraction of the great initiatives at local stations. Want to shout out your station's work? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
In Arkansas, we love our teachers. The Arkansas PBS digital series “Heart of a Teacher” celebrates the heroes behind the learning and what inspires them to teach. Meet the educators from all over Arkansas who give their lives to teach our kids.
Donations from our members supported our station initiative to help bridge the digital divide during the pandemic by distributing 80 devices to children and teachers to use at home during summer school and into the new school year. Some of these computers are now in the process of transitioning to several Head Start centers. Austin PBS will then help educators set up their new digital settings, while also scheduling sessions with parents to share why we’re doing this virtual work and how to encourage Smart Screen Time.
Detroit Public TV and our community partners created the COVID313 Community Coalition, a weekly live virtual town hall focused on supporting parents, students and families during the Coronavirus outbreak by presenting experts on public health, education, basic needs, financial resources and more. To date, these Facebook Live videos have been viewed over 100k times in Metro Detroit.
When schools closed in March 2020, GPB Education partnered with the Georgia Department of Education to launch the Georgia Home Classroom. This initiative offers K-12 learning plans, videos lessons, printable learning booklets in English and Spanish, “Getting Ready” guides for K-3, and a library of digital content to support both in-person and remote learning. The Georgia Home Classroom also features Let's Learn GA! video lessons by teachers on all subjects for K-5, and instructional TV broadcast schedules for preK-12th grade - an equitable learning solution for students lacking access to high-speed broadband and digital devices.
With help from favorite French television chef, Jacques Pepin, KQED launched a new at-home YouTube cooking series, serving up some recipes made with readily-available ingredients.
MPT supporters helped parents and early childhood educators take charge of media's impact and influence on children's learning and development. MPT created online courses, in-person workshops, and digital resources guided by MPT's Media STEPs strategies to support adults in identifying and using high-quality educational media, making learning time active, and providing ample screen-free play as well. With screen time so prevalent in today's educational environment, MPT's resources to foster healthy media habits keep families and kids on track for learning.
MontanaPBS navigated the first "drive-in" premiere of their new documentary, Keeping the Barn. 100 people attended the film screening at The Pasture Drive-In Theater in Manhattan, MT on Sept. 24, 2020. It was a fun and socially-distanced way to experience a sneak peek of the film before the broadcast date in November.
This year NMPBS encouraged diverse community connections by working with New Mexico's Department of Indian Affairs for a Covid Town Hall for tribal communities.
Since first airing on April 27th and created in response to learning gaps during the pandemic, Teaching in Room 9 on Nine Network has garnered a devoted audience of young learners. As of October 14th, the show has aired 532 episodes viewed by 38,154 kids ages 2-11 who watched the show over 687,042 times. Teaching in Room 9 has also been successful in reaching vulnerable families. Of those kids watching, 85% are from households with no college degree and 30% are minority. Of the households tuning in, 20% have an annual income of $25,000 or less. This growing and diverse audience is a great indicator of both the popularity of the program and the tremendous need for on-air education in our region.
UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina transitioned its popular Rootle Block Party LIVE! in-person event into an At Home television special, partnering with organizations across North Carolina and creating a one hour event that engaged and delighted families looking for intentional, educational, and entertaining content.
In response to school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vegas PBS produced original content to support distance learning. More than 30 At-home Learning spots were created to assist students with various learning concepts. A brand-new program, Vegas PBS STEAM Camp, was also created to help assist with learning. Each episode includes interactive at-home STEAM challenges and real-world application of STEAM concepts across Southern Nevada. All of this content was shared over the air and also made available on our website. These programs have reached 40,000+ users online and over the air. As students in Clark County continue to attend classes virtually, the production of this content continues.
In Northwest Ohio, WBGU-PBS donated 1,000 literacy-themed masks and hand sanitizers to libraries, child care centers, and Head Start programs.
Knowing that some students across the Commonwealth, especially in more rural areas, did not have reliable access to internet, the station geared up for a return to its roots—teachers teaching on television. With support from the Virginia Department of Education, WHRO recruited and trained teachers to film educational segments in their homes to create VA TV Classroom, a weekday show of content aligned with Virginia’s Standards of Learning.
Meet the Helpers, developed by WUCF and national experts in early childhood development, was an outgrowth of WUCF’s outreach immediately following the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016. The project includes a series of short videos to introduce common “helpers” in the community. Donations from the community help make this program possible. This year, WUCF has created more than 40 videos introducing children to essential workers through Meet The Helpers and created a Meet The Helpers social justice series to encourage children to embrace diversity, speak out against unfairness, and be a changemaker.
Learn more about cultural appropriation (or is it appreciation?) before you finalize this year's Halloween costume.
Watch a collection of films and specials that highlight and add context to the many aspects of race and racism in our country.
The votes are in, PBS programs rock! We're the real winners though — we can stream award-winning and nominated films below.
Multiple programs and websites were nominated for Webby Awards.
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