Cedar park student headed to PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab Academy

Twenty talented youth storytellers from 13 states will convene in the nation’s capital this summer with the common objective to advance the future of journalism and public media. KLRU’s PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab participant Isaac Hernandez of Cedar Ridge High School was named one of the fellows for the Student Reporting Labs Academy.

The middle and high school fellows are participants in the third annual Student Reporting Labs Academy. They will work alongside public media mentors to produce original digital content and sharpen their journalism and production skills. The fellows will also help program leaders develop strategies to engage young people with the news and current affairs, and ensure that diverse youth voices are active in the conversations about critical issues facing the nation.

During the 2016-17 school year, these young journalists contributed to the NewsHour’s broadcast and digital platforms with Letters to the Next President, stories of New Americans, 13 Reasons Why and two upcoming series on overcoming disabilities and America’s National Parks.

To learn more about the other students, please visit the official 2017 SRL Academy Tumblr.

Student Reporting Labs is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate: Let’s make it happen initiative, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

On social media, visit PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs on Facebook or follow @reportinglabs on Twitter.

2017 Writers Contest winners announced

Today, KLRU announced the local winners of the 2017 PBS KIDS Writers Contest. Over 300 creative entries were received from local children and 13 winners were chosen for first place, second place, third place and honorable mention recognition:

1st Place: Kindergarten—Addison Rogers, homeschooled in Paige, TX; First Grade—Harry Flynn, Pond Springs Elementary (Round Rock ISD); Second Grade—Surya Arunkumar, Patsy Sommer Elementary (Round Rock ISD); Third Grade—Anna James, Riojas Elementary (Pflugerville ISD)

2nd Place: Kindergarten—Maxwell Hausken, Reilly Elementary (Austin ISD); First Grade—Avanish Ram Vetsa, Laurel Mountain Elementary (Round Rock ISD); Second Grade—Genevieve Hernandez, Santa Cruz Catholic School (Buda, TX); Third Grade—Kinsley Cronin-West, Laurel Mountain Elementary (Round Rock ISD)

3rd Place: Kindergarten—Sunny Paulsen, TH Johnson Elementary (Taylor ISD); First Grade—Atlie May, homeschooled in Kyle, TX and Colin D’Eimon, Neidig Elementary (Elgin ISD); Second Grade—Tanya Ram, St. Francis School (Austin, TX); Third Grade—Julia Tese, Chaparral Star Academy (Austin, TX).

Honorable Mention: Elijah Moore, Pflugerville, TX

“Every year KLRU is a proud participant in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest because it underscores our commitment to the success of Central Texas children,” said Ben Kramer, KLRU VP of Education. “The process of creative writing has been proven to not only support the building of key academic skills but to help improve a child’s self confidence, creativity and imagination. KLRU wishes the winners congratulations, and celebrates all of the talented Central Texas children who entered this year’s contest. While KLRU celebrates the success of the most winning entries at each grade level, we also wish to celebrate the creation of a community of writers, and extend the publication to all children who submit an entry by publishing them on our website at klru.org/writerscontest.”

The annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest is a local initiative designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest encourages children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity by submitting their own original stories and illustrations. The 2018 KLRU Writers Contest will also include 4th and 5th grades!

To learn more about the contest, visit klru.org/writerscontest.

KLRU Educational Services receives grant funds from Summer STEM Investment Hub

Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub

For the fourth consecutive year, KLRU Educational Services will work alongside 12 other partners to provide quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer experiences for low-income youth in Central Texas. The Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub, a collaborative of 13 funding partners, has dedicated not only funding, but professional development and research expertise to tackle two important challenges: a summer “slide” in skills for low-income youth relative to their higher-income peers, and the desire to grow a local workforce for future Central Texas STEM-related jobs.

KLRU has three chief roles in this Summer STEM work:

  • to determine how KLRU’s digital assets, including equipment and digital media resources, can complement the work of each partner for on-site use
  • to provide resources to youth and their families to extend the learning achieved into the remainder of the summer through our vast collection of online and app-based resources
  • to hold discussions with youth and their families about summer screen use. We know that screen use goes way up during the summer months. We wish to help families strive for a healthy balance of “smart” and “silly” screen time, along with other activities for all members of the family.

The grantees are:

Design Connect Create
UT Austin TACC
UT Austin Dell Medical School
UT Austin UTeach Outreach
AISD Eastside Memorial Vertical Team
AISD STAARburst
AISD Akins High School
KLRU Educational Services
Campfire USA
Girlstart
Hill Country Science Mill
Harmony Science Academy
Welcome Table

The Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub partners are:  KDK-Harman Foundation, KLE Foundation, Webber Family Foundation, Topfer Family Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Intel Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and IBM.

KLRU Kids Writers – more stories every day!

We are receiving stories in the mail every day and are publishing them as fast as we can! Check every day for the next week to see our collections grow! Click here.

¡Estamos recibiendo nuevos cuentos en el correo cada día y los estamos publicando tan rápido como podamos! Chequea cada día esta semana para ver crecer la colección. Haz clic aquí.

 

KLRU’s Austin City Limits at Stony Point High School Rock History class

KLRU-TV and Austin City Limits paid a visit to the Junior Historians Chapter #900 at Stony Point High School, Round Rock, on March 9 to consult with the students on their competition project for the Texas State Historical Association’s Annual Meeting and History Fair covering the history of the Austin music scene.

ACL assistant producer and archivist Michael Toland discussed the rise of Austin as a music hub, starting in the sixties with the 13th Floor Elevators, before covering the various scenes and genres (progressive country, blues, New Sincerity, etc.) that made a mid-market college town into a hotbed for musicians and fans. Special attention went to Austin City Limits for its role in spotlighting Austin music on a national level and on how that helped Austin evolve into the musical powerhouse it is today. Guided by teacher and sponsor Mrs. Cheri Christian-Winne, the students were bright, inquisitive and insightful.

KLRU hosts National PBS KIDS Ready to Learn Advisors Meeting

On February 2 and 3, 2017, KLRU hosted the Ready to Learn National Advisors Meeting.  The annual meeting is typically held in Washington D.C.; this was their first-ever relocation to a community implementing Ready to Learn-funded activities.  Over 50 advisors from higher education, media production, and public-serving agencies gathered to provide direction to the project, in order to discuss the content and curriculum being produced, its dissemination to communities in need, and to give input on how to best evaluate the project’s efficacy.

Ready to Learn Advisors in a panel discussion on the original Austin City Limits stage. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Kids are leading the Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media project, funded by the Department of Education.  The five year grant ( 2015 – 2020) calls upon up to 40 PBS stations from all over the nation and their local community organizations to disseminate scientific inquiry and literacy content to low-income children ages 2 – 8 years old.

KLRU was one of the 11 pilot stations invited to test new resources in the field.  We partner with Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin area.

From Left to Right: Ben Kramer, VP of Education at KLRU; Erica Gallardo-Taft, Vice President of Program Services at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area; Eric Metcalf, Chief of Program Strategy at Communities In Schools of Central Texas; Robin Gose, Director of Education at Thinkery

Among other initiatives, we have held Odd Squad Summer Math Camps and Family Creative Learning (FCL) workshops at partner sites. At the FCL workshops, we guided parents to actively engage in their child’s learning using the free PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. app, which allows them to animate their favorite PBS characters.

In summer 2017, KLRU will pilot Odd Squad Summer Science Camp in which kids will solve problems to become Odd Squad agents.  Another project coming down the pipeline is a new collection of Ruff Ruffman science materials.

Thank you to Thinkery for hosting one day of the workshop and to the city of Austin for wowing the Ready to Learn Advisory group. We hope that they will return in 2018.

Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media is funded by the US Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

For immigrant children or children of immigrants / Para los niños inmigrantes o los hijos de inmigrantes

en español

Now is a difficult time to be a young child with immigrant parents in Central Texas. They may be hearing from adults, from the news, and in their schools about actions such as raids, deportations, and negative statements about immigrants. Even if they are not hearing such things directly, they may be feeling the stress of others in their homes.

KLRU Educational Services has the following advice and resources for families and educators:

1. Do NOT keep the TV or radio news on all the time when young people are present. Try to find ways to receive your news (via text message, social media, etc.) that can be silent and that will not keep your children nervous as they wait to hear what comes next. PBS KIDS offers safe, happy programs 24 hours a day through the PBS KIDS Video Viewer app and online at pbskids.org

2. Sesame Street’s Little Children, Big Challenges Community Guide (ages 3-5) This is a resource that can help you talk to children about the challenges you face and the people in your lives that can help.

Arthur

Arthur Resilient Site (Ages 5-10)

3. Arthur Resilience Site (ages 5-10) This website from Arthur has a variety of activities that can take you step by step through conversations and activities with your child. It includes discussion guides, activities, and videos to help your child manage thoughts and feelings.

4. Apps – The FREE Sesame Street Breathe, Think, Do (Android / Apple ) helps children to calm themselves when they are stressed or agitated. And the new, FREE Daniel Tiger for Parents app can help you find songs and activities for a variety of difficult situations. It is also bilingual (Spanish & English) (Android / Apple)

Ahora es un periodo especialmente difícil para los jóvenes que tienen padres que son inmigrantes. Pueden escuchar cosas de adultos, de las noticias, y en sus escuelas sobre acciones como detenciones, deportaciones, y declaraciones negativas sobre los inmigrantes. Aunque no estén escuchando directamente tales cosas negativas, pueden sentir el estrés de los otros alrededor de ellos.

Los Servicios Educativos de KLRU tienen los siguientes consejos y recursos para familias y educadores:

1. NO PRENDAN la tele ni la radio todo el tiempo cuando niños están presentes. Traten de buscar otros medios (silenciosos) de recibir sus noticias (textos, medios sociales, etc.) PBS KIDS ya ofrece gratis programas disponsibles las 24 horas en su app PBS KIDS Video Viewer y en pbskids.org.

Guía de Niños Chiquitos, Desafios Grandes

2. De Plaza Sesamo, la Guía de Niños Chiquitos, Desafios Grandes (edades 3-5) Este recurso les puede ayudar a hablar con sus niños sobre sus sentimientos y preocupaciones.

3. Daniel Tiger for Parents – este app gratis les puede ayudar a buscar canciones y activades para momentos difíciles. Es bilingüe. (Android / Apple)

Daniel Tigers Neighborhood

 

 

Literacy Links provides PBS resources to Oak Springs Elementary students

The Austin Chapter of The Links, Incorporated Literacy Links Program was a huge hit with the 1st – 3rd graders at Oak Springs Elementary School of Austin ISD. On December 19th, members of the organization shared Electric Company magazines and resources from klrukids.org with 120 students in 7 classrooms. The materials were IMG_27811STEAM-focused and intended to equip students with resources for continued educational development over the Winter Break.  Students who brought their completed magazines when they returned to school in January received special recognition for the accomplishment. 

The Austin (TX) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.  They serve the Travis, Williamson, Hays, Blanco, Caldwell, and Bastrop counties. The Literacy Links Program’s goal is to emphasize closing the elementary achievement gap by promoting effective literacy practices.

New PBS Kids streaming service launches 1/16

KLRU and PBS will launch new, free localized 24/7 children’s programming live stream services on Jan. 16th!  The effort is KLRU’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community. We will also be adding a 24/7 Kids broadcast channel in April (stay tuned for more details on that!)

This streaming services will make it easy for Central Texas children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high. Viewers will be able to watch the KLRU-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, and tablets. Soon after launch, the live stream will be available on over-the-top platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via pbskids.org.

Following its initial launch, the localized live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The live stream and games feature is grounded in research demonstrating that measurable gains in learning are achieved when children engage with PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning.

PBS stations reach more kids aged 2-5, more moms with children under 6 years old and more children from low-income families than any other kids TV network. With its new 24/7  digital offerings, KLRU will build on this reach and impact.

Through this effort, KLRU will extend its commitment to early learning by offering more families high-quality PBS KIDS content that is trusted by parents and proven to help kids learn. In a recent survey, PBS KIDS led all networks in improving kids’ behavior, with 74% of parents saying their child exhibits more positive behavior after engaging with PBS KIDS. And years of research confirm that PBS KIDS media content helps children build critical skills that enable them to find success in school and life, while also helping parents increase their own engagement. A recent study conducted by WestEd found that PBS KIDS resources can help narrow the math achievement gap for children from low-income families and better prepare them for kindergarten. Additionally, parents’ awareness of their children’s math learning increased significantly – as did their use of strategies to support their children’s learning.

KLRU and Community Partners: Families Creative Learning workshops

KLRU has partnered with the Thinkery, Boys & Girls Club, and Communities in Schools to bring Families Creative Learning workshops to low-income families with young children. Parents bond with their children as they both learn to code.  Using the Scratch Jr. PBS app, the families animate their favorite PBS characters. The parents have the wonderful opportunity to be active participants in their children’s learning. As supportive collaborators, parents encourage their children to problem solve and experiment while being persistent in their creative process.

Walk into a session and you’ll see friendly families sharing a meal. Afterwards, it’s time to reflect on what has been learned. Then parents work together with their children to create a project that tells a meaningful story.  It’s neat to see how imaginative the children can be as they express themselves using technology. The final projects are shared amongst the group and include animated greeting cards, stories about their family, and other wildly creative animations.

31518205452_e16346e90b_o (1)Karen and MomRob, Miguel, and Mom (2)

What’s great is that families receive a tablet at the end of 4 weekly sessions. These tablets are a gateway to more learning using the many free PBS kids apps available. Families also receive books that they can enjoy at home as a vital component of at-home learning.

Educational experiences such as this empower parents to continue engaging in their children’s education. It inspires children to continue to explore and discover new ways of self-expression in today’s digital world.

Families Creative Learning is part of the Community Collaborative for Early Learning and Media, funded by the US Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

 CPB logoDOEPBSKIDS_logo