ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – July 27, 2021
WFSU’s Tasha Weinstein was named the 2021 winner of the Janyth Righter Innovation Award by the board of Florida Public Media during the group’s July annual meeting.
The award is given to a staff member at one of the organization’s 24 public radio and television stations for their entrepreneurial and innovative leadership.
Weinstein is the Public Media Education and Engagement Manager at WFSU-TV/FM in Tallahassee. She was selected for her innovative response to delivering engaging educational content to educators and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Florida Public Media is delighted to honor Tasha Weinstein with this year’s award,” said Patrick Yack, Executive Director of Florida Public Media. “She brings enthusiasm, passion, and a strong commitment to her job, to WFSU and most importantly – to the parents, students, and teachers of the Big Bend area.”
“She works tirelessly to tie the ongoing important work of PBS and WFSU to the Tallahassee community. Tasha is a nationally recognized leader in education, and we are fortunate to have her part of our public media family.”
A signature program for WFSU is the Summer Challenge, a program aimed at preventing summer learning loss in children. Weinstein produced a one-hour broadcast special around the theme of Mountains, Hills & Mounds that took children to various sites in the area to learn about the region’s geology. She linked the content to digital resources and worked with partner organizations to build on this theme.
Weinstein is also credited with leading an effort to tie the PBS KIDS program Molly of Denali to the Muscogee people of Florida. She and her education team created a “virtual” museum that provided a wealth of resources and information about Native American people, their culture, history, and stories.
Pivoting this project from an in person “pop-up” museum to a virtual one allowed WFSU to reach more people with this project and she developed a workshop model for educators to better understand how to use this resource.
“Tasha is a dynamo who has taken the WFSU Education Program to new heights,” said Kim Kelling, WFSU Director of Content & Community Partners.
“Everything she approaches is done with the mindset of how we can be more effective in reaching underserved children and families. With a pandemic impacting in person work for the past 16 months, Tasha has been instrumental in rethinking how we do our work and how we can engage the community. She has worked across all of our departments at WFSU to achieve that goal.”
Established in 2017, the award is named in honor of Janyth Righter, the former executive director of Florida Public Media and a pioneer in public broadcasting in Florida.
Past winners include:
Jeff Huffman – WUFT-TV/FM. Gainesville/Ocala. 2017.
Catherine Hiles – WUCF-TV. Orlando. 2018.
Brent Burton – WSRE-TV. Pensacola. 2019.
Penelope Douglas. WPBT-TV. Miami. 2020.
WFSU TV/FM broadcasts throughout Florida panhandle and south Georgia. Florida Public Media is a professional association made up of the NPR and PBS stations in Florida.