How public media supports children’s learning across boundaries
There are a number of current and past efforts within public media designed to support the learning and development of children, families, and educators across boundaries. While the list below is by no means exhaustive, it is meant to provide examples of efforts to date that might inspire thinking around a grant proposal for this challenge:
- As a part of the current Ready To Learn Grant to CPB and PBS from the US Department of Education, public media stations are partnering with other stakeholder organizations in their local communities to support and build upon one another’s shared efforts around supporting the learning and development of children, families, and educators. This effort includes the delivery of ongoing community-based learning experiences that integrate public media resources in support of learning. Specific examples of this include:
- Family and Community Learning workshops – These intergenerational family workshops create the time, space, and conditions for families to engage in STEM learning together.
- Odd Squad “Be the Agent” Camp – This 5-day sequence of STEM activities for kids 5-8 is based on the hit PBS KIDS show, Odd Squad, where kids are “in training” to become Odd Squad agents. These camps are most often delivered in after-school settings or during summer/winter breaks.
- Online PD Courses – Designed for early childhood educators, these courses support STEM learning in the classroom as well as the integration of public media and technology as tools to support student learning.
- A number of texting programs have been piloted and utilized throughout the public media system to connect caregivers to resources that can support their children’s learning. Specific examples include:
- Bright by Text – A number of public media stations have partnered with Bright by Text to provide age-appropriate text messages (based on the age of the child as entered by the caregiver) that include strategies for supporting healthy development, engaging media resources and activities, and information about existing services and/or upcoming local events for kids and families.
- Remind – Through a new partnership with Remind, PBS LearningMedia recently implemented a “Remind” button throughout its online platform so that educators on the site can send contextually relevant public media content directly to parents and students through the Remind texting service.
- Public media stations, with support from local/national grants and strategic partnerships, develop and implement ongoing engagement and education focused efforts for kids, families, and educators. A small subset of examples:
- KLRN’s Ready, Set, Grow! Program – KLRN’s Ready, Set, Grow! program in San Antonio, Texas offers families with young children an opportunity to connect in a family-friendly, educational environment. Weekly activities are designed for the community at large as well as military and veteran families. Families participate in parallel play experiences and explore PBS KIDS programs, apps and resources that can support learning. Families also attend workshops that explore integrating science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) at home, and learn about developmental milestones.
- WGBH Public Media Hackathons – Hosted by WGBH, these events in Boston, Massachusetts have brought together parents, preschool educators, healthcare professionals, and public media developers and designers to engage in a hackathon experience designed to brainstorm, prototype, and create solutions surfaced by the group of experts in the room.
- Be My Neighbor Day – Public media stations across the country, in partnership with local organizations and support from the Fred Rogers Company, have put on “Be My Neighbor Days” as a way to celebrate and support their local communities and provide local families with positive and joyful experiences exploring their own neighborhoods.