Author Archives: Florida Public Media
Tallahassee, FL. April 12, 2021 — Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International (SRI) announce the release of their new research Mahsi’choo for the Info! Molly of Denali Teaches Children about Informational Text.*
Molly of Denali is an award-winning animated series, produced by GBH Boston that airs on PBS stations throughout Florida. It follows the adventures of curious and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who lives in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. Recently renewed for a second season, it is the first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character.
Molly of Denali involves Alaska Native voices in all aspects of the production, both on screen and behind the scenes. Informational text, the underlying literacy curriculum, is integrated into the series’ episodes, games, app, website, and assets for educators, families, and kids. Informational text—oral, written, or visual text designed to inform—is essential to navigating daily life, and it includes activities such as reading a map, critically engaging with websites, and posing questions to an expert.
Two separate rigorous studies found that children from low-income households who were given Molly of Denali videos, digital games, and activities were better able to solve problems using informational text. Most children have access to stories and other narrative texts but little to no access to informational text. Yet informational text is a fundamental part of literacy. Comprehending informational text paves the way for future learning, particularly in social studies and the sciences, and success in life.
“In a year where children have been forced to learn through screen time, there has been a great deal of debate on what is good programming and bad programming,” said Tasha Weinstein, education and engagement manager at WFSU in Tallahassee.
“Knowing what is quality content is really important and we now know that screen time can work when you have effective programming.”
WFSU has organized “Molly of Denali”-inspired workshops in its viewing area and collaborated with the Muskogee Tribe to create a virtual museum that links the Muskogee with the native Americans of Alaska.
Ten families were selected, and each week included a different area of study, including maps, traditions, biographies and animals. Kelling said she was thrilled to take the proven content of the TV program and put it to use in the community through the virtual museums.
To see the virtual museums visit, https://wfsu.org/education/molly-of-denali-virtual-museum/. For more information on the study, visit edc.org/infotext. For more information about WFSU visit, https://wfsu.org/television/.
Two nine-week studies included 263 first-grade children from low-income households across the country. The study team randomly assigned each child to receive either a tablet loaded with Molly of Denali resources (treatment condition) or a tablet that blocked access to Molly of Denali resources (control condition).
- Problem-solving: Access to Molly of Denali digital resources improved first-grade children’s ability to use informational text to solve problems, for example, choosing the right book or website to answer a question or using an index to find a topic in the book.
- High return for minimal time investment: Children benefited from the Molly of Denali resources after using them for only about one hour per week, on average, over nine weeks—similar to the time that children might access educational media at home. Many educational programs require more time or engagement before learning benefits are seen.
- More screen time = more learning: Children who used Molly of Denali resources for longer periods showed greater learning benefits. Findings demonstrate that more exposure to high-quality educational content results in greater learning gains.
- The power of replication: The second study was a replication of the first study, adding further evidence of the impact of the Molly of Denali resources. Although replication is a critical part of the scientific process, few findings in education research are confirmed by conducting the same study a second time.
Molly of Denali has received much critical acclaim, including a Peabody Award, a Television Critics Award and a Kidscreen Award, and has a television reach of over 42 million people1 and over 450K users on PBS KIDS digital platforms each month.2 Now Molly of Denali also has the backing of two studies that demonstrate children’s learning.
The studies were commissioned as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The Ready To Learn Initiative brings educational television and digital media resources to children ages 2–8 and aims to promote early science and literacy learning.
The studies, conducted during the pandemic, pioneered innovations in remote data collection with families across the nation, providing evidence that research remains possible when in-person visits are not an option. The Molly of Denali content also provided a free resource to help develop children’s literacy skills to families experiencing pandemic-related disruptions in schooling.
“Never before has there been a study of children’s media supporting young children’s use of informational text to solve problems,” said Shelley Pasnik, EDC senior vice president and principal investigator of the joint EDC-SRI research team. “That we were able to see positive results not once but twice during a year of great educational turmoil makes the case for providing all families with quality early learning opportunities.”
“This research shows the power of well-designed educational media,” said Joy Lorenzo Kennedy, EDC’s lead author. “Not only does Molly of Denali have an engaging storyline and compelling cast of characters, it also embeds informational text in ways that improves children’s learning outcomes.”
Claire Christensen, lead author for SRI, added, “This research comes at a critical time when parents and educators are searching for guidance about how best to support children’s learning when they can’t be in the classroom.”
This study is one of a series of Ready To Learn Initiative studies demonstrating the impact of educational media on children’s learning. The full report is available online at edc.org/infotext
Education Development Center (EDC) is a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. Since 1958, it has been a leader in designing, implementing, and evaluating powerful and innovative programs in more than 80 countries around the world.
About SRI International
SRI International is an independent, nonprofit research center that works with clients to take the most advanced R&D from the laboratory to the marketplace. For more than 70 years, SRI has led the discovery and design of groundbreaking products, technologies, and industries—from Siri and online banking to medical ultrasound, cancer treatments, and much more.
About MOLLY OF DENALI
Molly of Denali is co-produced by GBH and its animation partner, Atomic Cartoons, in association with CBC Kids. Funding for Molly of Denali™ is provided by a Ready To Learn Grant from the U.S. Department of Education; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People; and by public television viewers. Additional funding made possible with the participation of the Province of British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit. Corporate funding provided by the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan and Target. Alaska Native collaborators: Adeline P. Raboff, Dewey Kk’ołeyo Hoffman, Luke Titus, Princess Daazhraii Johnson and Rochelle Adams. Language Advisors: Adeline P. Raboff, Lance X’unei Twitchell, Lorraine David, Marie Meade and Marjorie Tahbone. Informational text advisor: Nell K. Duke, University of Michigan.
About the Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching children living in low-income households. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach, and research on educational effectiveness.
Patrick Yack. email@example.com
1Nielsen NPOWER L+7, 7/15/2019–7/12/2020, 50% unif, 1+ mins., P2+, K2-11
2Google Analytics, January 2020–December 2020
The contents of Molly of Denali were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. U295A150003, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* Mahsi’choo (Mah-see-cho): “Thank You” in Gwich’in.
Miami, Florida – Just in time for Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s April 5th premiere of their newest documentary, HEMINGWAY, join South Florida PBS on Zoom on March 9th for the South Florida PBS installment of Conversations on Hemingway with filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, writer Cristina Garcia and author/journalist Brin-Jonathan Butler.
The South Florida PBS conversation, in partnership with Books & Books @ the studio Key West, FIU’s Casa Cuba, and The Hemingway House & Museum, will focus on the South Florida connection: Hemingway, the Sea and Cuba. The discussion will be moderated by Ann Bocock, host of South Florida PBS’ book review program, Between the Covers. Hemingway documentary will premiere on South Florida PBS’ WPBT and WXEL on April 5th at 9 PM.
In conjunction with the broadcast of HEMINGWAY on PBS, the author’s publisher, Scribner, will publish The Hemingway Stories, a new collection of the legendary writer’s greatest short stories featured in the documentary series. The Hemingway Stories features an introduction from award-winning writer Tobias Wolff, who is interviewed in the series.
HEMINGWAY paints an intimate picture of the writer—who captured on paper the complexities of the human condition in spare and profound prose, and whose work remains deeply influential around the world—while also penetrating the myth of Hemingway the man’s man, to reveal a deeply troubled and ultimately tragic figure. The film also explores Hemingway’s limitations and biases as an artist.
“Having studied Hemingway throughout my life, I’m overjoyed that PBS has created this new program and excited to learn more about Hemingway’s life and work,” said Dolores Sukhdeo, President and CEO of South Florida PBS. “I’m delighted that South Florida PBS was chosen as 1 of 9 stations across the country to host a special virtual discussion ahead of the premiere and can’t wait to watch both the program and local discussion”.
In three two-hour episodes, HEMINGWAY tracks the meteoric rise and tragic fall of the author who, in his final years, suffered from chronic alcoholism, traumatic brain injuries and serious mental illness. In 1961, at the age of 61, Hemingway died by suicide, leaving behind an unparalleled body of artistic work and a complicated emotional legacy for those closest to him.
Narrated by long-time collaborator Peter Coyote, the series features an all-star cast of actors bringing Hemingway (voiced by Jeff Daniels), his friends and family vividly to life. Through letters to and from his four wives—voiced by Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson—the film reveals Hemingway at his most romantic and his most vulnerable, grappling at times with insecurity, anxiety and existential loneliness.
Hemingway, the Sea and Cuba is part of a nine-part national conversation series that is open to the public and will take place remotely, creating a unique opportunity for people throughout the country to participate. People can register for one or more of the various virtual events at www.pbs.org/hemingwayevents.
For the sixth consecutive year, ONYX Magazine and its sponsors will acknowledge Florida’s most influential Black women in business, education, government, media, and nonprofit.
We recognize these women for their tireless efforts in their professions and communities and we are honored to name them among a group of phenomenal women.
Women on the Move celebrates trailblazers who have served to make a difference in their communities, and Erika Pulley-Hayes, President and CEO of WMFE-FM in Orlando, has been recognized among this group.
The full list of honorees can be found here.
The world is constantly changing and reshaping the way we deliver information. The programs that currently air on WJCT-TV are now available on platforms beyond the broadcast television channel, and its new name reflects this new multi-platform environment.
As WJCT Public Media continues to move toward production and distribution of its services across a wide range of digital technologies, its brands are also evolving to reflect this new media landscape.
For more than 60 years, the WJCT-TV call letters signaled to the Northeast Florida community that we are your trusted source for the very best in education, entertainment and television news programming. Although we’ve got a new name and fresh look, we continue to connect with audiences with the same mission to educate, involve and inspire!
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life for nearly everyone, but it’s been especially difficult for those who were already at a disadvantage.
In this statewide project – Class of COVID-19 – journalists explore the high costs of the pandemic for children and young adults who faced some of the greatest obstacles to success in school well before COVID-19 upended public education.
The series of stories and interactive multimedia content will appear at CLASSOFCOVID.ORG.
The pandemic has been hard on nearly everyone, but it’s worse for those who were already at a disadvantage. Without urgent solutions, COVID-19’s toll could be catastrophic for Florida’s most vulnerable students.
In Tampa, migrant education advocates are worried about nearly 300 students — children of farmworkers — who “haven’t quite surfaced anywhere” in the last year.
In Tallahassee, Brady Wilson’s hard-won ability to speak in complex sentences devolved to two- or three-word phrases after schools closed last spring. The 18-year-old has Potocki-Shaffer syndrome, which causes developmental delays.
In Fort Lauderdale, a Broward County Public Schools social worker knows she has to “hit the pavement … and knock on those doors” to find the nearly 800 kids who haven’t logged on or shown up for in-person schooling in months.
These are some of Florida’s most vulnerable students, for whom COVID-19 has been not only a profoundly disruptive health crisis but also an educational catastrophe.
In this statewide project, journalists explore the high costs of the pandemic for children and young adults who faced some of the greatest obstacles to success in school well before COVID-19 upended public education.
“This uniquely comprehensive look at how the pandemic has exacerbated educational inequity in Florida comes at a critical time,” said Jessica Bakeman, WLRN-FM’s education reporter, who edited the project.
“Our series will inform the conversation about solutions to some of our state’s most pressing problems during the Legislature’s first law making session since COVID-19 has transformed the lives of Floridians.
“‘Class of COVID-19’ also assesses the educational damage of the pandemic near the one-year anniversary of widespread school closures.”
The radio-side of the project will kick off with a magazine-style narrative radio program, airing statewide.
Later in February, public television stations around the state will carry an hour-long special featuring news reports and conversations with policymakers
Throughout the month, tune into public affairs programs to hear local voices join the conversation. The Florida Roundup a live statewide show hosted by Tom Hudson and Melissa Ross on Friday afternoons, will feature the journalists behind “Class of COVID-19,” allowing listeners to call in with questions of their own.
By David McGowan, President and CEO, WJCT Public Media
The recent round of staff buyouts affecting The Florida Times-Union newsroom provided the latest evidence, if any were needed, that the business model of local newspapers is fundamentally broken.
COVID-19 is playing the role of accelerant on a raging fire initially brought on by changing news consumption habits, an over-reliance on advertising and a reluctance or inability to change. The hedge fund and private equity-driven nature of today’s newspaper ownership groups is also a factor, but the consolidation of declining industries usually attracts a certain ruthlessness.
Despite its staff losses, the Times-Union’s newsroom has shown how valuable courageous, enterprising journalism can be to a community. Under the leadership of Editor Mary Kelli Palka, the T-U, a WJCT News partner, has both broken and doggedly pursued stories that have had real and measurable impact. From JEA to Lot J and lots of other stories, the T-U has engaged us all in the civic life of this region in ways large and small that many readers have come to take for granted. It’s also worth remembering that many of these lines of inquiry were not very popular when investigative reporters began them.
But as papers decline, and evidence continues to mount that the crisis in local journalism is having a wide range of negative effects on American public life, new and innovative solutions are being found as local communities rise to meet the challenge. Nonprofit online news services, often working collaboratively with the for-profit newsrooms in their regions, are emerging at a rapid pace.
The Institute for Non-Profit News reports that there are now more than 250 nonprofit newsrooms across the country, and their growth has been steady. Though these newsrooms now employ only a fraction of the more than 28,000 journalism jobs lost from 2008 to 2018, the sector demonstrates increasing levels of impact and sustainability. Importantly, over 40 percent of revenues to the Institute for Non-Profit News members serving local audiences now come from individual supporters.
The growth in local nonprofit digital news comes as the Pew Research Center found that in 2018, roughly 40 percent of adults preferred to get their local news from online sources, with more than three-quarters (77 percent) saying the internet is important in how they receive local news. This squares with WJCT’s own research in 2018, which found that most locals would prefer new local coverage to be offered online. If trends continue at the current pace, online sources are set to become Americans’ top choice for local news, supplanting local TV news broadcasts, within the next year or two.
At WJCT we have been working hard to ensure that we can drive this exciting nonprofit and digital future for local journalism. Not only are we devoting more radio air time to local news than ever — having recently made WJCT News 89.9 into an all-news and talk station — but we’ve also invested in creating a set of online products like ADAPT (adaptflorida.org) that point in the direction we’re headed.
Now, thanks to significant support from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation (a national foundation with its headquarters in Jacksonville), we’re embarking on an expansion of our newsroom that will enable us to begin to build the kind of reporting resources necessary to cover the region more effectively while meeting audiences in new ways.
We approach this task with both determination and humility, and with the knowledge that no single local news organization can give this community all of the quality journalism it deserves. But as the region’s leading user-supported nonprofit news provider, we embrace the moment and all that it requires of us.
WMFE REPORTER AMY GREEN’S ‘DRAINED’ PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FLORIDA CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
ORLANDO — In 2000, President Bill Clinton quietly signed into law a plan to restore the Everglades. Twenty years and $17 billion later, the grandiose vision of reversing decades of environmental damage remains stuck in the swamp.
In DRAINED, a new four-part podcast out Dec. 8 from WMFE and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, host Amy Green wades into the controversy around one of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts ever undertaken.
From rivers of toxic slime to a mind-boggling plan to inject a giant bubble of freshwater a thousand feet underground, DRAINED examines the massive plan to restore the river of grass and poses the big question about the future of this natural wonder: Can it be saved?
WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green
“The plan to save the Everglades is enormous and enormously complicated, but it’s so important to Florida’s future,” Green said. “I have dedicated much of the last 10 years of my career to telling this story, one that embodies humankind’s relationship — and conquest — of nature and all the consequences associated with that. In many ways the story is personal for me, having grown up in Florida and now that I am raising my 6-year-old daughter here. I thank WMFE and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting for their continued support of my work and for providing a platform for this important story.”
Trevor Aaronson, executive director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, said the Everglades deserves our attention.
“For Florida, the Everglades are iconic. But I suspect that few Floridians realize how badly we’ve messed up the wetlands that have come to symbolize our state — and how our efforts to restore the Everglades, now going on 20 years, have been both enormously ambitious and jaw-droppingly harebrained,” Aaronson said. “In this four-episode podcast, Amy Green masterfully explains our destructive relationship with the Everglades. As a nonprofit journalism organization, FCIR is proud to partner with Amy and WMFE for this in-depth reporting and storytelling.”
This is the third partnership for WMFE and FCIR. In 2018, WMFE and FCIR partnered on an investigative series about climate change and state government inaction. Green’s reporting for the series won awards from the SPJ Sunshine State Awards and the Florida Associated Press Professional Broadcasters Contest. In 2012, WMFE and FCIR partnered on a print and radio package about Big Sugar and government subsidies. Green’s reporting for that partnership won honors from the Green Eyeshade Awards, a journalism competition throughout the Southeast.
“WMFE is proud to partner with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting to shine a light on another important but often overlooked environmental issue in our state,” said Erika Pulley-Hayes, president and CEO of WMFE. “Amy’s immersive reporting and the voices and natural sounds bring this story to life for the listener and make the pressing issues of the River of Grass hard to ignore.”
DRAINED is reported and hosted by Amy Green, and edited by FCIR Executive Director Trevor Aaronson and WMFE News Director Matthew Peddie. Mix and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Mac Dula, Jenny Babcock and Ryan Ellison provided additional production help. Cliff Tumetel also contributed. Special thanks to Johns Hopkins University Press.
About Amy Green
Amy Green covers the environment for WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades will be published in March 2021 by Johns Hopkins University Press. Green was raised in Florida and lives in Orlando with her 6-year-old daughter. Learn more and read her latest stories at wmfe.org/author/agreen
The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization supported by foundations and individual contributions. Founded in 2010, FCIR produces award-winning public-service journalism in partnership with traditional and ethnic news media in Florida and across the nation. For more information, visit fcir.org.
Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Ocala and surrounding counties. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.orgfor more information.
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MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Communications & Marketing Specialist Jenny Babcock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-273-2300 ext. 112.
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – WGCU General Manager Rick Johnson recently announced his intention to retire from that post on June 1, 2021.
Johnson’s career in broadcast media spans 52 years, with four decades and eight sets of call letters to his credit before he joined WGCU as GM 12 years ago.
In an email to staff and the WGCU Public Media Advisory Board Oct. 6, Johnson outlined his immediate and continuing vision for WGCU as assuming a greater role as the media outlet of record and public interest journalism in Southwest Florida.
Johnson’s tenure in public media includes PBS stations in Seattle and Albuquerque, followed by deep ties to Florida stations. Since January 1991, he has been involved with virtually every aspect of public media in Florida, in Tallahassee and Jacksonville prior to Southwest Florida and WGCU.
“Rick Johnson is one of public media’s outstanding leaders – not just in Florida but everywhere he has served,” said Patrick Yack, executive director, Florida Public Media. “He has been a thoughtful, engaging and inspiring member of the Florida Public Media Board and he was an exceptional chair. Always dedicated to our mission, Rick has left an indelible mark on our craft and our profession.”
“Southwest Florida WGCU members have benefited from his vision and the execution of the outstanding team he assembled,” said advisory board chair Judy Bricker. “The station has realized its potential with Johnson at the helm and will now reach to a new and higher set of goals thanks to his continued vision.”
“Rick’s depth of experience will be sorely missed at WGCU, but he well deserves the time to begin his next chapter,” said Katherine (Kitty) Green, FGCU vice president, University Advancement, and executive director, FGCU Foundation.
A national search will ensue for his replacement.
Johnson concluded his announcement with this: “In addition to it having been an honor and a privilege it has also been a pleasure to work alongside all of you through the proverbial thick and thin to make WGCU one of the most successful, most-watched, most-listened-to, and most-well-supported public media organizations in the country.”
WGCU is Southwest Florida’s source for PBS and NPR. A member-supported service of Florida Gulf Coast University, WGCU provides educational programming that inspires, informs and engages our community. Serving all or part of 12 counties in south and Southwest Florida, with five distinct digital TV channels, two FM radio channels, two HD radio channels, and multiple websites, WGCU delivers national and international programming, and develops, produces and delivers relevant, informative and educational local programs to the region. More information about WGCU is available online at WGCU.org, and by following us on Facebook at wgcupublicmedia, on Twitter @wgcu and Instagram @wgcupublicmedia.
Funding will support production of new educational content and local community engagement that equips young learners with key skills for success
Oct 07, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 7, 2020) – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS have received a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The grant will provide $24,322,018 in year one of a five-year cycle* to fund CPB and PBS’ comprehensive multi-media learning and station engagement initiative, which will connect children’s media and learning environments to build key skills for success.
The initiative will result in the development of new content that helps young children build vital skills to help them succeed in school and life, including functional literacy, critical thinking and collaboration — and shows them career options in age-appropriate ways. This will be done by producing multiple forms of content, some that show real-life examples of success by having adult role models share how they turned their childhood interest into their life’s work. It will also help parents, caregivers and communities support children’s learning and growth, with a goal of putting children on a path to success in learning, work and life.
CPB and PBS will work with experts in early learning and leading children’s media producers to create new PBS KIDS multiplatform content, including “Wombats!” (w.t.), produced by GBH, in which preschoolers will learn critical thinking and collaboration skills by following the adventures of three marsupial siblings as they explore their “Treeborhood.” In “Liza Loops” (w.t.), created and produced by Dave Peth, children ages 5-6 will encounter sociable city kid Liza, an aspiring inventor, and her fuzzy blue sidekick Stu as they invent solutions to help others in their neighborhood. As part of the grant, CPB and PBS will work with additional producers and partners on the third series with a literacy curriculum, in addition to digital games and podcasts, as well as resources to support family learning at home, in virtual spaces and in the community.
Today, children face a future filled with an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. The initiative’s focus on introducing children to the mindsets, knowledge and skills required to succeed in the workforce stems from a rapidly evolving global economy. COVID-19 has also impacted the workforce landscape, making it more important than ever to equip children with skills and ways of thinking that will allow them to successfully navigate their future.
“During these challenging times, public media continues to deliver value to the American people through our consistent commitment to early learners. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt education, public media is working to ensure that the nation’s children, especially those in low-income communities, have access to learning and are not left behind,” said Pat Harrison, President and CEO for CPB. “The funding by Congress and the Department of Education will provide vital resources to public media for the creation of research-based educational content, that will be offered free of charge and commercial free, to help children prepare to succeed in work and life.”
“PBS was founded on the belief that media can be a powerful force for education and inspiration. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are committed to building on our strong legacy of high-quality educational media to meet the needs of young learners,” said Paula Kerger, President and CEO, PBS. “We are grateful for the vital support of CPB and the Department of Education, which allows us to serve millions of children across the country. Together with our member stations and producing partners, we will use every tool at our disposal to prepare the next generation for success in school and life.”
Local PBS stations will work with community partners, including schools, public libraries, museums, businesses, local Chambers of Commerce and other stakeholders, as part of a national network devoted to supporting the early learning needs of children in low-income communities. Critical national partners include the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Parents As Teachers.
The first phase of work will take place in 12 communities, including: Anchorage, Alaska (Alaska Public Media); Austin, Texas (Austin PBS); Birmingham, Alabama (Alabama Public Television); Detroit (Detroit Public TV); Las Vegas (Vegas PBS); Lexington, Kentucky (Kentucky Educational Television); Los Angeles (PBS SoCaL); Madison, Wisconsin (PBS Wisconsin); New York (WNET); Owings Mill, Maryland (Maryland Public Television); Pittsburgh (WQED); and Tallahassee, Florida (WFSU). Additional communities will be added during years 2-5 of the grant.
The Education Development Center (EDC) will lead a research effort to assess the success of the five-year initiative, with emphasis on the new content’s ability to build key skills and inspire children to explore the “world of work.” Project research will also provide new insights into the ways in which newer media and intergenerational engagement can support children’s learning. Data analytics will advance the understanding of how games can influence learning gains, and formative studies will drive informed content creation.
*Additional years of funding are contingent on Congressional appropriations.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
PBS, with its over 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and over 28 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. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. 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 devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
About The Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach and research on educational effectiveness.
The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant [PR/Award No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A] provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
WMFE PRESIDENT ELECTED TO NPR BOARD OF DIRECTORS ERIKA PULLEY-HAYES FILLS THE POSITION OF MEMBER DIRECTOR
ORLANDO — Erika Pulley-Hayes, president and CEO of WMFE/WMFV in Orlando, has been elected to the NPR Board of Directors.
Pulley-Hayes joined WMFE/WMFV in January after a long tenure at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where she served as radio vice president.
“I’m excited to serve on the NPR board at this moment in time,” Pulley-Hayes said. “Journalism is essential to our democracy, and I am committed to ensuring the news and information NPR provides to our country remains strong.”
Pulley-Hayes was elected Sept. 11 to fill an unexpired term vacancy on the board due to the departure of Wonya Lucas, former CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, according to Current. The board’s Governance Committee nominated Pulley-Hayes to a three-year term beginning in November, subject to election by the network’s membership in a ballot that opens next month.
The NPR Board of Directors sets the policies and overall direction for NPR management, monitors the performance of NPR, and provides financial oversight. NPR’s 23-member Board of Directors is comprised of 12 Member Directors who are managers of NPR Member stations and are elected to the Board by their fellow Member stations, 9 Public Directors, the NPR Foundation Chair, and the NPR President & CEO.
Erika Pulley-Hayes joined WMFE/WMFV in January 2020 as president and CEO after a long tenure at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) where she served as radio vice president. In this capacity, she provided strategic leadership to the public radio system by developing initiatives designed to drive innovation and advance public media service. She has worked to enhance local service and sustainability by identifying new business opportunities and operating models that engage audiences across platforms and increase organizational capacity. She was instrumental in the development of journalism collaborations among public media organizations in local regions. She was also responsible for developing the policies that govern CPB’s Community Service Grant program which, as public media’s largest funding source, supports over 400 organizations operating public radio stations nationwide.
Erika began her career at a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, where she worked under the general counsel and corporate secretary. In this role, she worked closely with the board of directors, negotiated corporate agreements for commercial transactions, and ensured political and regulatory compliance. Erika later managed legal operations of a small clinical research organization overseeing risk management, corporate housekeeping and commercial contracts generating approximately $40 million annually. Erika serves on the board of directors of 826 National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students improve their expository and creative writing skills in nine cities across the United States. She is also a member of the Alliance of Women in Media. Erika holds an MBA and an MS in Nonprofit Management.
About Community Communications Inc.:
Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Ocala and surrounding counties. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information.
NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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