The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) honored KLRU as one of 17 stations for excellence in content production, promotion and marketing, community engagement, and instructional media.
KLRU brought home two awards in Community Engagement for their work in Play to Learn and An Eastside Education.
Play to Learn began when the United Way for Greater Austin asked KLRU to design a ten-week workshop for parents and youth residing in the poorest sections of town, where school readiness rates were only 12 percent overall. The Play to Learn sessions served over 500 families with a completion rate over 90 percent, created a sense of community, and was invited to the 2015 White House ConnectHome Summit.
“[Play to Learn is] deep community engagement, deep results based on solid research,” the Awards Judges review panel said. “I am obsessed with this very well laid-out program. This is SUPER impactful work. I am amazed at how many kids and families have been touched by this.”
The awards presentation was a highlight of NETA’s annual professional development conference.
An Eastside Education was a six-part digital news project that followed students, teachers and staff at an Austin high school under threat of closure by the state. For years, Eastside Memorial High School has been plagued by failing test scores and negative headlines. An Eastside Education spent one semester at one of Austin’s lowest-income schools, as teachers, parents, administrators, and students fought to meet state accountability standards or watch their school be closed.
A custom-built website was built for this project and includes seven chapters, with video, in-depth narrative, imagery, infographics, and links to external resources.
“This is how to take a new, fresh look at a chronic problem,” the Awards Judges review panel said.
They also added that, “KLRU’s storytelling platform created an exciting way to dive deep into communities.”
You can take a look and interact with An Eastside Project here.