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April 16, 2020
Parents trust other parents when looking for advice on educational resources for their children. According to a recent study in the U.S. by Marketing & Research Resources, Inc., “86% of parents agree that PBS KIDS is a leading innovator in kids’ educational media.” Another study of early mathematics achievement found that “children who engaged with PBS KIDS math content saw great improvement on standardized math assessments.” PBS is America’s largest classroom and is broadcast free directly into homes. As a parent, why wouldn’t I turn to my local PBS station?
As the father of four boys, I know all too well the challenge of trying to keep kids engaged in learning beyond the classroom. Finding creative ways to reinforce what they learned in school after they were home, was more of a chore than a pleasure for them and for me. Now, with schools closed due to COVID-19, kids learning from makeshift home classrooms, and the majority of parents plunged into homeschooling for the first time, finding tactics and resources that will help kids stay focused and excited about learning at home is even more important and challenging.
For more than 60 years, WEDU’s primary mission has been to educate – it’s even in our call letters. The station got its start broadcasting classroom instruction and educational programs. Today, parents rank PBS KIDS as the most trusted educational television media available and research shows its content makes a measurable difference in preparing children for success in school. WEDU is dedicated to the education of our youngest viewers during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
WEDU created a new weekday television schedule from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. of educational PBS programs to support kids at home, parents and teachers as school districts across Florida canceled classes to lessen the spread of COVID-19. These programs are aligned to specific Florida State Standards, segmented by grade level and are free and accessible from home. WEDU began broadcasting these programs on Monday, March 23rd at 6 a.m. The schedule includes targeted blocks of time for Pre-K through 12th-grade levels and covers subjects, including English language arts, social studies, science and math.
I feel good as a parent knowing that the programs my kids are watching are not only educational and geared to their grade level, but they are also entertaining enough to keep their attention amid so many easy distractions at home. Half the battle is getting kids to their screens for educational purposes. With WEDU, they will be having fun while learning – making them more likely to return!
Beyond the dedicated on-air broadcast, WEDU is providing online services that highlight specific lessons, articles and other information to support kids, parents and teachers. Thousands of free, user-friendly resources, housed online at PBS LearningMedia, align to Florida educational Florida State Standards and are easily accessible by educators and families through home computer connections. WEDU is also working directly with school districts in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota counties to provide PBS LearningMedia virtual training sessions for teachers and reading coaches and will continue to add more local content and resources in the weeks to come.
Parents and teachers can rest easy as WEDU continues to play a critical role by providing trusted, aligned educational resources. As we all navigate this new way of learning, I invite you to turn to a trusted partner in education – WEDU PBS. The on-air schedule and online resources can be found at www.wedu.org/edconnect.
Be safe, stay healthy, and keep learning!
Paul Grove, WEDU PBS President and CEO
For more on virtual events and learning read Tampa Bay Attractions Go Virtual to Keep You Connected During COVID-19 Outbreak