KLRU donates Library Corner to Sí Se Puede Learning Center

PBS Kids Raising Readers Library Corner at Si Se Puede Learning Center

Sí Se Puede Learning Center, an organization dedicated to providing a nurturing environment in which young kids and their parents gain the knowledge and skills to succeed, is partnering with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, to launch the center’s first PBS Kids Raising Readers Library Corner. Located in a corner of the on-site computer lab, the cozy library is stock full of engaging children’s reading and activity books, as well as computer games to foster literacy and learning.

All materials have been donated by KLRU-TV, whose dedication to fostering a love for reading among children comes to life in the materials it publishes and television shows it produces. Christina Collazo, Executive Director at Sí Se Puede, views this commitment as being closely aligned with her organization’s efforts to promote reading and English-language learning in school and at home. “Given that most of our young students don’t speak English at home, we have the opportunity to give children a head-start in the language before they enter kindergarten,” says Collazo. “A library with engaging books in both English and Spanish is a great way to get our kids excited about bilingual reading and learning.”

Benjamin Kramer, Director of Education for KLRU-TV, echoes Ms. Collazo’s enthusiasm. “When centers like Sí Se Puede and initiatives like the Library Corners come together, we create opportunities for young children to develop from their first days as bilingual speakers, readers, and writers, and as sophisticated readers and viewers of television and other media.” Kramer added, “Multilingual literacy and smart viewing practices are great attributes to have, but of course, they need to be nurtured. Here is a shining example of just that.”

Children and parents will be able to spend time together at the library during the center’s “Mommy and Me” time, as well as check out materials to take home. Reading while relaxing on the inviting cushions, surrounded by Dr. Seuss and The Hungry Caterpillar decor, will also serve as an incentive for students to record the number of minutes they spend reading at home. By incorporating the enjoyment of reading into every-day learning, Sí Se Puede hopes to engage young minds in discovering their potential, reaching their goals, and imagining future possibilities.

Benjamin Kramer Named Director of Education

Former principal, teacher, and professor to direct station’s education initiatives

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, announces Ben Kramer has joined the station as the Director of Education. Kramer has 20 years as a professional educator, from early childhood to doctoral studies, with his most recent role as Principal for The University of Texas Elementary Charter School. In his position as KLRU’s Director of Education, Kramer will be responsible for providing vision and leadership for the PBS station’s community educational initiatives by engaging educators, parents and students in pre-K through 12 and higher education in a manner that builds skills and a commitment to learning.

“We’re excited for Ben to help us shape the future of KLRU’s educational services,” said Bill Stotesbery, KLRU CEO and General Manager. “During his career, Ben has shown that he strives to bring quality instruction and intellectually stimulating curriculum to all students, particularly those who depend upon resources outside of the home for their access, and recognizes the importance and power of using multimedia technologies for learning. This philosophy fits perfectly with KLRU’s mission to provide livelong learning opportunities to the Austin area.”
Kramer holds a Bachelors from Princeton University, a Masters from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been principal or assistant principal at several schools including The University of Texas Elementary Charter School, Austin’s International High School, Mathews Elementary School and Hill Elementary School. He has also taught at Texas State University in the Masters program in education and community leadership.

In addition to more than 11 hours of curriculum-based kid’s programming daily, including Vme’s Spanish-language children’s programing, KLRU’s current educational services include conducting workshops to help parents provide early learning skill development in their children, providing materials to teachers to help them gain additional knowledge for the classroom, and distributing books to families that could not otherwise afford them. KLRU participates in numerous national PBS initiatives that help strengthen the station’s educational role in the community and under Kramer’s leadership, the station will find additional ways to help build a stronger educational foundation for the future of Austin.

About KLRU:
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, presents quality multimedia content that engages people in the thoughtful exchange of ideas, the expression of the arts, and enjoyable lifelong learning opportunities, resulting in a more vibrant community and a higher quality of life. In addition to providing locally produced and quality national television programming, KLRU is also a non-profit organization helping to build a stronger community through educational workshops, community engagement projects and public events. Known as the producing station of the longest-running live music television show AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, KLRU has also worked on several other national productions including OVERHEAD WITH EVAN SMITH and documentaries like CITIZEN ARCHITECT and LAST BEST HOPE. Get more information about KLRU at klru.org.

Sci-Fi night on KLRU Q 11/15

KLRU Q presents a night of Sci-Fi on Tuesday, November 15th.

8:00 PM – On Story: The Austin Film Festival Presents  “Creating Fantastical Worlds”
The challenges of creating fantastical worlds and getting the audience to suspend their disbelief are discussed by the creative minds behind Star Trek, Transformers, El Mariachi, and The Watchmen. Featuring David Hayter, Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof, and Robert Rodriguez. Film: Tadpoles by Miguel Alvarez.

8:30 PM – Pioneers of Television: “Science Fiction”
Storytellers Gene Roddenberry, Irwin Allen and Rod Serling created the storylines and characters behind the best-loved futuristic television of their time. But as Roddenberry’s “Star Trek” competed for ratings with Allen’s “Lost in Space,” each show’s creator aimed for a very different direction. This episode explores how Roddenberry and Serling (of “The Twilight Zone”) used the future as a stage for modern morality plays, and William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and other science-fiction stars describe how they prepared to interact on-camera with a malevolent alien force … or, perhaps, a giant radish.

9:30 PM – Science Trek
This out-of-this-world program explores the intersection of science fiction and science fact. Combining clips from Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation with interviews with some of the leading scientists and researchers from around the country, the program is an entertaining guide to the astonishing scientific advances being made in laboratories and universities around the country. PBS and Star Trek icon LeVar Burton hosts.

10:30 PM – Four Days at Dragon*Con
Every Labor Day weekend, tens of thousands descend upon Atlanta for the largest convention of pop-culture fandom in the Southeast. From science fiction celebrities and their obsessive fans to colorfully costumed characters engaged in mock combat, FOUR DAYS AT DRAGON*CON explores the “Woodstock for nerds” known as Dragon*Con. What draws these 35,000 people together? Dragon*Con’s inclusive multi-genre, multi-platform approach – combining science fiction, fantasy literature, role-playing, science, history, video games and more – gives attendees the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. Others, especially the costume designers and creators, seem to gravitate most to the element of escapism. Featuring interviews with fans, staff, performers, artists, and would-be superheroes, the documentary examines the sense of community and acceptance that forms among this often ridiculed and marginalized subculture. FOUR DAYS AT DRAGON*CON captures the heart and soul of this quirky and fascinating annual event with footage of the Dragon*Con parade and a stirring climax centered around an ambitious attempt to break the world record for dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The evening ends with a Dr. Who episode at 11:30 PM

PBS Arts Festival: Chicago Choreographer Bill T. Jones 11/11

Watch PBS Arts from Chicago: American Masters Bill T. Jones: A Good Man Preview on PBS. See more from PBS.

Discover even more unique art from the nation’s emerging artists as the PBS Arts Fall Festival continues its nine-week celebration of the arts. Tune in each week for new full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chicago, Cleveland, and more.

See the blood-sweat-and-tears account of Tony award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones as he constructs a full-evening dance event inspired by the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Airing at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 11, PBS Arts from Chicago: American Masters “Bill T. Jones: A Good Man” exposes the similarities between Bill T. Jones and Abraham Lincoln – good men whose courage and convictions, instincts and innovations are a testament to the timeless endurance of art and action.

Afterward, catch Jeanne Gang: The Sky’s The Limit, a short film profiling a new, yet highly lauded architect on the Chicago scene. Driven by curiosity and creativity, Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, has designed numerous award-winning structures, including the Aqua Tower, the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, and Columbia College Chicago’s Media Production Center.

Next, hear how the Visual Arts Center on the University of Texas campus draws together a uniquely diverse arts community of students, alumni, faculty, guest artists and creative voices from around the world. See how the fall artist-in-residence Mika Tajima is influenced by Austin’s architecture and Richard Linklater’s film “Slacker.”

Then, Austin City Limits showcases the best in modern country with Miranda Lambert and Jeff Bridges. The numerous award-winning Lambert performs her greatest hits, followed by actor Bridges in his music television debut.

Science Night 11/9

Wednesday Science Night presents:

Nature: Jungle Eagles 7 pm
The most powerful raptor in the world, the harpy eagle, hides away deep in the South American jungle. Harpy eagles are barely ever seen, let alone filmed. In this extraordinary documentary, our team of cameramen steps into the world of this monkey-eating eagle and even risks injury to obtain intimate pictures of them bringing back large monkeys to the nest. The tables soon turn, however, as one of these massive birds starts following the team.

NOVA: The Fabric of the Cosmos: “The Illusion of Time?” 8 pm
Accompany physicist and acclaimed author Brian Greene on a mind-bending reality check and journey to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time and the universe. Time. We waste it, save it, kill it, make it. The world runs on it. Yet, ask physicists what time actually is, and the answer might shock you: They have no idea. Even more surprising, the deep sense we have of time passing from present to past may be nothing more than an illusion. How can our understanding of something so familiar be so wrong? In search of answers, Brian Greene takes us on the ultimate time traveling adventure, hurtling 50 years into the future before stepping into a wormhole to travel back to the past. Along the way, he will reveal a new way of thinking about time in which moments past, present and future exist all at once. This journey will bring us all the way back to the Big Bang, where physicists think the ultimate secrets of time may be hidden.

NOVA: The Elegant Universe: “Einstein’s Dream” 9 pm
In the last few years, excitement has grown among scientists as they’ve pursued a revolutionary new approach to unifying nature’s forces. To the uninitiated, string theory is totally mind-boggling. But physicist Brian Greene has a rare gift for conveying physics in vivid everyday images, a gift that has turned his recent book, The Elegant Universe, into a mighty bestseller. Now Greene brings his talent, youth and vitality to television for the first time in this special three-hour presentation. A highly innovative, Matrix-like production style makes the surreal world of string theory spring to life on the screen. The first hour introduces string theory and shows how modern physics -composed of two theories that are ferociously incompatible – reached an impasse: one theory, known as general relativity, is successful in describing big things like stars and galaxies; another, called quantum mechanics, is equally successful in describing small things like atoms and subatomic particles. Albert Einstein, the inventor of general relativity, dreamed of finding a single theory that would embrace all of nature’s laws. But in his quest for the so- called unified theory, Einstein came up empty-handed, and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics has stymied all who’ve followed. That is, until the discovery of string theory.

In the Studio: Jim Lehrer tapes Overheard 11/16

Please join KLRU’s Overheard with Evan Smith for an interview with Jim Lehrer on November 16 at 3:00 p.m. in KLRU’s Studio 6A (map). Doors open at 2:30 p.m. The event is free but an RSVP is required. RSVP now

Jim Lehrer is well-known to PBS fans as the Executive Editor and longtime anchor of the PBS NewsHour, successor to the long-running MacNeil/Lehrer Report. But in addition to his career as an award-winning journalist, he can add presidential debate moderator, novelist, playwright and now author of the new book Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain. After starting his career as a print reporter in Dallas, Lehrer worked for that city’s PBS station before moving to Washington, DC. With Robert MacNeil, he led continuous live coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings, winning an Emmy for their work and launching a long partnership. Lehrer’s new book takes us inside the eleven presidential debates he has moderated during the last six presidential elections, sharing his experience as “the man in middle seat.” Tension City also describes the interviews Lehrer has conducted with candidates over the past 20 years about their debate experiences. Join us for a conversation with the “Dean of Moderators.” Our in-studio audience will have an opportunity for Q&A with the guest following the interview.

Overheard with Evan Smith is now in its second season of great conversation with fascinating people, always on the news and always with a sense of humor. The show features in-depth interviews with a mix of guests from politics, the arts, literature, journalism, business, sports and more, and reaches PBS stations from California to Florida. We hope you’ll be there for the second season of this exciting program. Overheard airs on KLRU at 7 p.m. Thursdays and 12:30 p.m. Sundays. Episodes are also available online at klru.org/overheard

In The Studio: Bill Moyers on Overheard 11/14

Please join KLRU’s Overheard with Evan Smith for an interview with Bill Moyers on November 14 at noon in KLRU’s Studio 6A (map). Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The event is free but an RSVP is required. RSVP now

Bill Moyers is an American journalist who has been honored for “daring to assume that viewing audiences are willing to think and learn.” For three decades, his work has asked meaningful questions and explored ideas at the forefront of the public debate. Before beginning his broadcasting career, Moyers worked as White House press secretary and Special Assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson, and also served as Deputy Director of the Peace Corps during the Kennedy Administration. Moyers is a graduate of The University of Texas, and also holds a Master of Divinity degree – a connection to the themes of faith that some of his work has explored. In January, Moyers will launch his newest series to be offered to PBS stations, to be called Moyers & Company. You’ll learn about that program and hear about Moyers’ career during our interview. Our studio audience will have an opportunity for Q&A with Moyers afterward.

Overheard with Evan Smith is now in its second season of great conversation with fascinating people, always on the news and always with a sense of humor. The show features in-depth interviews with a mix of guests from politics, the arts, literature, journalism, business, sports and more, and reaches PBS stations from California to Florida. We hope you’ll be there for the second season of this exciting program. Overheard airs on KLRU at 7 p.m. Thursdays and 12:30 p.m. Sundays. Episodes are also available online at klru.org/overheard

Highlights: November 6-12

America in Primetime at 7 pm Sunday presents “Man Of The House”, which showcases the evolution of the man of the house on television from the king of his castle in classic family sitcoms to a more intricate, conflicted figure in modern shows.

Masterpiece Contemporary at 8 pm Sunday presents “Page Eight”, the thrilling story of an aging spy who stumbles on an international scandal that could bring down the British government. But will it bring down his own career first?

Blitz: London’s Longest Night at 9 pm Monday follows the events of one night in the Blitz of 1940 when London was subjected to the most ferocious and terrifying attack of the war.

Secrets of the Dead: Japanese SuperSub at 7 pm Tuesday investigates the startling story of Japan’s successful creation of a technological masterpiece – an aircraft carrier submarine.

Women, War & Peace at 9 pm Tuesday presents “War Redefined”, a film that challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain through incisive interviews with leading thinkers, secretaries of state and seasoned survivors of war and peace-making. Geena Davis narrates.

Austin City Limits at 10 pm Wednesday and Friday showcases the best in modern country with Miranda Lambert and Jeff Bridges. The multiple award-winning Lambert performs her greatest hits, followed by actor Bridges in his music television debut.

Evan Smith interviews Bill Keller of The New York Times on Overheard at 7 pm Thursday.

Arts In Context at 7:30 pm Thursday welcomes Austin’s own dynamic composer Graham Reynolds for a two part concert special. We begin with original compositions written by Graham, performed as a triple concerto, followed by an extraordinary performance of Duke Ellington classics with new arrangements.

Chet Garner heads to Smithville, Texas on a road bike from Bastrop State Park to Buescher State Park, eats some BBQ, visit a famous paper doll artists, and travels to an Automotive History Museum on this week’s episode of “The Daytripper” at 8:30 pm Thursday.

POV at 9 pm Thursday presents “Where Soldiers Come From”, a film that follows the four-year journey of childhood friends who join the National Guard after graduating from high school. As it chronicles the young men’s transformation from restless teenagers to soldiers looking for roadside bombs to 23-year-old combat veterans trying to start their lives again, the film offers an intimate look at the young Americans who fight our wars, the families and towns they come from — and the way one faraway conflict changes everything.

PBS Arts From Chicago: American Masters Bill T. Jones at 8 pm Friday presents the blood-sweat-and-tears process of mounting a full-evening dance event inspired by the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, choreographed by the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur “genius” grant and winner of two Tony Awards.

Go nuts with tips for selecting and planting pecan trees on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. On tour, visit a garden that integrates fruit, vegetables, and native plants.

Songwriting legend Randy Newman takes the stage with a selection of his greatest tunes on Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday.

KLRU Create marathons for November

Starting at 10 am each Saturday, KLRU Create offers viewers themed programming to get you started on various projects. KLRU Create is on channel 18.2 over the air.

November 5
Rise and Shine

What’s the most important meal of the day? Breakfast of course! Start your day with creative crepes, perfect pancakes and excellent eggs prepared by chefs Julia Child, Jacque Pepin, Hubert Keller and Pati Jinich. With this caliber of cooks in the kitchen, you’ll never miss breakfast again!

November 12
Down Under

We’re going down under for this marathon. Explore unique places and cultures in Australia and New Zealand with Rudy Maxa, Joseph Rosendo, Art Wolfe and Richard Bangs. Then sip some Australian wine with Stanley Tucci. Steven Raichlen will show you how to throw another shrimp on the Barbie. G’day mate!

November 19
Turkey Time

It’s all hands on deck! Chris Kimball, Christy Rost, P. Allen Smith and Katie Brown are gearing up for Thanksgiving. Whether it’s demonstrating how to make a juicy turkey and flavorful side dishes that will keep them coming back for more or putting decorative touches on the Thanksgiving table, this is sure to be a tasty and memorable Thanksgiving!

November 26
Take the Cake

Create wants to bring a little more sweetness and whimsy into your day. We’ll show you how to bake up some extraordinary confectioneries with John Folse and Chris Kimball. Julia Child will design delicious cakes for special occasions that will make everyone smile. What a fun and tasty way to spend a day!

2nd Half of Life: Growing Bolder November episodes

As your PBS station, it is KLRU’s mission to bring people together around important issues. KLRU does this through various educational and outreach initiatives. This year, KLRU will present 2nd Half of Life project. Created for one of the best-educated, healthiest, and most privileged generations in American history — the Boomers — the series aims to help people reinvent life after the age of 50. In the coming months, 2nd Half of Life presents episodes of Growing Bolder on Sundays at 10:30 am.

Upcoming episodes:

November 6th – “Make A Difference”
Big Name, Big Cause, Big Fun – Annika Sorenstam is one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game, and now she’s making a difference in another field – the fight against breast cancer. See how she’s teaming up with some passionate women to stop the disease. Ruth Hamilton: World’s Oldest Blogger – We believe it’s about attitude, whether you’re 9 or 109 years old. Ruth Hamilton passed away in 2008, but left us some amazing video blogs – a legacy for those who didn’t have the privilege of getting to know her in person. Tech Minute: Pandora Radio – Love to listen to music? Try one of the hottest services on the Web – it helps you discover old favorites and new hits, all based on your interests! Silver Sneakers – The next time you go to your gym, take a look around. People of all ages are working out! Silver Sneakers focuses on those who are over 60. In many cases, the program is free, and classes are available all across the nation. As you’ll see, the program is changing lives! A Day to Remember – Many of us have been touched by the war in the Gulf. Imagine how many more were affected by World War II. Veterans of that war are dying off at a rate of 1,100 a day. Soon, many will be forgotten. Take a moment to watch one vet tell his story. Silver Surfers – Surf’s up for men and women of all ages! The world’s biggest Surf Expo is for buyers and sellers only, so we took our cameras inside to give you a tour. We found a booming industry that is Growing Bolder every year — thanks to a rapidly increasing number of silver surfers.

November 13th – “Second Acts”
A Glass Act – For 40 years, Ida Bransford has been on the lookout for the depression glass that reminds her of her youth. In this “Growing Bolder” exclusive, we take you inside a home that many have heard about but few have actually seen. Doorway to Happiness – Larry Roofner was a corporate executive, a move and shaker and a big-time success. And it nearly killed him. So he walked away from it all, and at 52, he reinvented himself. One door led to another, until the doors themselves changed his life. Tech Minute: Blogging – In December 1997, the “weblog” was born. Within two years, it was better known as a blog – and today, more than 112 million blogs are posted on the Internet! Are you ready to share your stories online? Sonic Soup for the Soul – He’s written music for NBC sports, artist Thomas Kinkade and for a 3-year-old victim of child abuse. Wayne’s music has been described as sonic soup for the soul. You’ll wonder why you’ve never heard of him before. He Talks; They Listen – In the 1980s, he was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball and the best left-hander in the game. 20 years later, Frank “Sweet Music” Viola has moved from the mound to the dugout where he’s giving college players a little sweet music of their own.

November 20th – “Run, Rock and Row”
Tom Keeps Time Ticking – Tom Bransford likes to hang out with some very old friends – some that date back to 753. He’s one of the last of a vanishing trade…a qualified clock repairman. Unleashing the Dragon (Boats) – A group of breast cancer survivors and advocates take the idea of pulling together to a whole new level. They recently competed at the International Dragon Boat Festival and these big boats mean big fun and a big impact. Tech Minute: Editing Photos – These days, getting great pictures is a snap – even after the camera is put away! The Streaker – He’s no Forrest Gump, but he has been running, and running, and running some more! 1,000 days and more than 3,200 miles later, we got up early to tag along and see what keeps him moving. Bait is Big Business – Howard’s Bait and Tackle Shop stands as an unchanging landmark in an area surrounded by development. Its founder, Howard Allen, has passed away, but his son has agreed to carry on the business and keep his father’s legacy alive.

November 27th – “Get Rowdy”
Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic – A three-time Olympic gold medalist and the voice of swimming for NBC, Rowdy Gaines is now 50 years old and a passionate advocate for the future of his sport. We caught up with him at a special event where we learned by so many people of all ages are diving into masters swimming. Finding Purpose Through the Pain – We all have a-ha moments in life, when we know it’s time to change our paths. At nearly 300 pounds, Heather Quillen knew she needed to make a drastic change. And after helping herself, she figured – why not do this for others? Tech Minute: FlipCam – What’s the size of a credit card and lets you capture amazing memories with the press of a button? Here’s a hint: say cheese. The Best of all Time – Mike Sigel is the baron of billiards – simply amazing. He started playing at the age of 13, turned pro by 20 and went on to win more than 100 professional tournaments. So what happened when he stepped out? His connection to the sport got even stronger.