PBS KIDS Rings in the Holiday Season with a Full Slate of Programming for the Whole Family

Shorter days and colder nights offer a good reason to cozy up with family to enjoy holiday favorites on PBS KIDS. Beginning this month and running through the end of the year, kids and families can celebrate the joy of the season with holiday-themed specials every weekend as part of Family Night, a special viewing destination on the KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream. This includes the Primetime Emmy- and WGA Award-winning ONCE UPON A SESAME STREET CHRISTMAS, THE GRUFFALO and new holiday-themed episodes from READY JET GO!, SPLASH AND BUBBLES and CYBERCHASE. Holiday-themed episodes from PBS KIDS favorites will also air on PBS stations and stream on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app throughout December. For additional programs airing, check out klru.org/holiday

ONCE UPON A SESAME STREET CHRISTMAS
Premieres and streams November 22, 23, 24 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night); December 4, 11-15, 18
A bedtime story for Elmo recalls a gloomy time when Sesame Street was devoid of holiday spirit until a distant relative brought tidings of comfort and joy to its residents.

THE GRUFFALO
Airs December 1-3 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night)
A cunning mouse goes for a walk through the forest and has to outwit a succession of predators.

THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS!
Airs December 8-10 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night), 12, 14, 16, 26
This adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas. On the way, the Thinga-ma-jigger breaks down, and they depend on a variety of animals – from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs – and their remarkable abilities to help them make an amazing journey home.

SPLASH AND BUBBLES: Whitebeard/Coral Day – NEW
Airs December 11, 15-17 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night)
“Whitebeard” – Ripple is excited because, according to legend, tonight is the night that Whitebeard, a mysterious creature who lives at the North Pole, sails over Reeftown, singing his beautiful music. She tries to convince the other Reeftown friends to stay up and watch for him to appear.
“Coral Day” – It’s the holiday season in Reeftown as everyone gets ready for Coral Day, a celebration of the wonderful coral that makes up their home. Splash, new to Reeftown and its traditions, wonders what he can contribute to the festival.

PEG + CAT + HOLIDAYS
Airs December 11, 15-17 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night), 26
“The Hanukkah Problem” – When Albert Einstein invites Peg and Cat over for Hanukkah, he shows them how to make a 2D piece of paper into a 3D dreidel. Later, they need to use this process to bring peace to Al’s home and save his Hanukkah.
“The Christmas Problem” – When Santa Claus is in trouble, Peg and Cat have to solve their biggest problem ever: how to make and wrap presents for all the children of the world and deliver them using 100 sleighs.
“The Penguin Problem” – Peg and Cat coach a team of skiing penguins, who would have a shot at the Olympic gold medal if only they knew “over,” “under” and “in between.”

READY JET GO!: Holidays in Boxwood Terrace – NEW
Premieres and streams December 11, December 22-24 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night)
“Holidays in Boxwood Terrace, Part 1” – Jet pitches an idea for the annual Boxwood Terrace Christmas Pageant, and not only is it accepted, he gets to direct it! He casts Sean, Sydney, Mindy and Sunspot as characters in the play and hires Mitchell Petersen to help him find this elusive thing called “Christmas Spirit.”
“Holidays in Boxwood Terrace, Part 2” – Jet is looking for the Spirit of Christmas, something intangible that Sean and Sydney can’t quite define. Mitchell wants to belong to the group, but doesn’t know how to do it. Both kids get their answer in a heartfelt conclusion.

WILD KRATTS: A CREATURE CHRISTMAS
Airs December 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 22-24 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night), 25
In this one-hour special, it’s Christmastime and the Wild Kratts are taking a break from creature adventuring to celebrate. But when the Wild Kratts receive an alert that their favorite creatures are suddenly disappearing around the globe, their holiday party quickly turns into a rescue mission. The Wild Kratts must race against time to thwart their greedy archrivals’ most miserly scheme yet! Will they be able to travel to the ends of the earth and return their baby animal friends to their homes in time for the holidays?

CYBERCHASE: A REBOOT EVE TO REMEMBER – NEW
Premieres and streams December 29; 30-31 (on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 Family Night)
It’s almost Reboot Day – when all of Cyberspace celebrates a fresh start for the new year! It’s Delete’s favorite holiday, but Hacker is in a bad mood because he’s low on energy. Fortunately for Hacker, the blustery town of Bottawa has a powerful energy source he can steal. Unfortunately for Bottawa, this energy source raises the big ball at midnight on Reboot Eve, and the celebration is being broadcast live across Cyberspace! When Hacker goes through with his plan, Delete stays in Bottawa to join forces with the CyberSquad and save the holiday. Can they find a way to use Bottawa’s wind to raise the big ball by midnight? And will Hacker’s Reboot resolution bring Delete home?
Other new episodes include “Creech’s Creature Quandary” (December 26), “A Murky Mystery in Mermaidos” (Dec ember27) and “Plantasaurus!” (December 28).

CURIOUS GEORGE: A VERY MONKEY CHRISTMAS
Airs December 11, 15, 17, 25
Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. There’s only one dilemma – neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present! In the end, both gift-giving predicaments are simply and beautifully resolved, revealing the true spirit of the holiday season.

KLRU and Community Partners host Family Creative Learning workshops

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a robot chef that could make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? You would have to program it by giving it very specific instructions.

That is how children and their parents start learning about coding in the Family Creative Learning (FCL) PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. workshops.  The families learn to animate their favorite PBS KIDS characters using the PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. app on Playtime Pads, a tablet that they get to keep at the end of the workshop.

KLRU and our local children’s museum, Thinkery, hosted a fun FCL PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. workshop in October. Nine young children and their parents learned concepts of coding by  reading books and participating in fun movement activities. They built paper airplanes to practice using the design engineering process (imagine, plan, build, test, repeat).

The children and their parents created animation projects together.  Parents learned from their kids as much as the kids learned from their parents. You could see a lot of smiles in the room.

One child was very excited when he shared: “Now my mom knows technology & can do it with me!”

We hope that all families feel just as empowered that they can now create their own animations.

KLRU also partners with Communities In Schools (CIS) to host workshops. This month, 8 families that are part of their ASPIRE family literacy program are currently participating in a Family Creative Learning PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. workshop.  Those families are just as excited and are having a blast learning how to code.

Click here if you would like to use the FCL Scratch Jr. workshop materials to help your own child learn how to code: https://klru.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/pbs-kids-family-creative-learning/

Also, this month 8 additional families are participating in the new Ruff Ruffman Sensational Science Family Creative Learning workshop at Thinkery. The Ruff Ruffman FCL workshop will help children learn science by playing with mixtures, investigating material science, exploring force and motion, and creating structures.

They will also learn about those topics by watching short Ruff Ruffman videos and playing digital games on Playtime Pads (tablets that they will get to keep).

The Ruff Ruffman science activities, videos, and games can be found here:  https://klru.pbslearningmedia.
org/collection/ruff-ruffman-show/

 

FCL workshops are part of the Ready to Learn (RTL) initiative funded by the Department of Education and administered by the Corporation of Public Broadcasting and PBS.  Our Community Collaborative for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM) project brings RTL science and literacy content to children ages 2 to 8 from low-income households as well as their families and educators.  KLRU partners with local community organizations to host workshops at their sites for the children that they serve.  Our partners are Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area.

DOEPBSKIDS_logo

Things get Odd with our Oddtober Halloween Programs

There’s a ton of spooky fun coming to PBS KIDS this October! In addition to the October 23rd premiere of Arthur and the Haunted Tree House on television and streaming devices, there are new Halloween episodes from Odd Squad, Splash and Bubbles, Sesame Street, and Cyberchase. There will also be the return of the hit specials: The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween! and Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest.
KLRU airs Arthur and the Haunted Tree House movie at 6:30 am and 2pm on the 23rd on KLRU; 7 am and 8pm Oct. 23rd on KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 and KLRU Q.
Word World: A Kooky Spooky Halloween | Sheep’s Halloween Costume — Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 12:30 pm
Ready Jet Go! Jet’s First Halloween — Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 1 pm
Splash and Bubbles: Yuck or Treat — Monday, Oct. 16 at 9:30 am
Odd Squad: Haunt Squad — Monday, Oct. 16 at 3:30 pm
SuperWhy! The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Halloween — Friday, Oct. 20 at 11:30 am
Cyberchase: The Halloween Howl — Friday, Oct. 20 at 8:30 pm
Peg + Cat: The Parade Problem | The Halloween Problem — Friday, Oct. 20 at 12 pm
Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest — Monday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 am
Cyberchase: Watts of Halloween Trouble — Monday, Oct. 23 at 6am
Sesame Street Halloween — Monday, Oct 23 at 10:30 am
Clifford’s Puppy Days: The Halloween Bandit | An Honest Spin — Sunday, Oct. 29 at 9:30 am
Fun Activities!
  • Carve out some time with your little one and create a PBS KIDS jack o’ lantern. We’ve made it easy for you with these pumpkin carving templates.
  • Do you have your Halloween costumes yet? PBS KIDS for Parents has all kinds of DIY costume suggestions including some from your favorite PBS KIDS shows!
  • Arthur and the Haunted Tree House features a sleepover. If your kids are excited about the idea of having a sleepover, but aren’t quite ready, Arthur has a daytime activity you can use to practice before you try the real thing.
  • Grab a flashlight and your favorite monster stories! PBS KIDS for Parents has some monstrously good book suggestions you can use for your very own Halloween sleepover.

This fall, PBS will also offer PreK-12 teachers an easy way to integrate Halloween themes into their instruction with a range of curriculum-aligned videos, lesson plans and games. Teachers can use these resources to enhance homework assignments or kick-start classroom discussions. These free resources are available to teachers nationwide on pbslearningmedia.org. Examples include Peg + Cat’s Tiger Trick or Treat, PBS LearningMedia’s All About the Holidays: Halloween, PBS Digital Studios’ Frankenstein, M.D. and more.

American Graduate: Angela De Hoyos Hart

Produced by the Pflugerville High School PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab students, Angela De Hoyos Hart talks about the lasting impact her work as a mentor has had on both her students and her own life.

This video is part of KLRU’s American Graduate project. Be sure to tune in on October 14th starting at 1 pm for our American Graduate Day programming. American Graduate Day 2017 is a four-hour, live broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis with special celebrity guests, relevant spokespeople and compelling stories from the students themselves.

At 5 pm on Oct. 14th will present I Am Here, which is also part of our American Graduate project. Produced by the Creative Action Youth Cinema Collective and Youth Rise Texas, “I Am Here” tells the story of Yesenia Martinez, an immigrant teen raised in the US whose family is undocumented. With a rising wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the city, Yesenia has to grapple with the reality of living as an undocumented immigrant, and what that means for her future. Produced by young people in two of Austin’s most exciting youth programs, the film is an honest and emotional look into the real lived experiences of immigrant youth torn between the future they want for themselves and the future society will allow them to have.

American Graduate: Karen Yokum

Produced by the Lanier Early College High School PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab students, Karen Yokum talks about  her experience as a mentor.

This video is part of KLRU’s American Graduate project. Be sure to tune in on October 14th starting at 1 pm for our American Graduate Day programming. American Graduate Day 2017 is a four-hour, live broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis with special celebrity guests, relevant spokespeople and compelling stories from the students themselves.

At 5 pm on Oct. 14th will present I Am Here, which is also part of our American Graduate project. Produced by the Creative Action Youth Cinema Collective and Youth Rise Texas, “I Am Here” tells the story of Yesenia Martinez, an immigrant teen raised in the US whose family is undocumented. With a rising wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the city, Yesenia has to grapple with the reality of living as an undocumented immigrant, and what that means for her future. Produced by young people in two of Austin’s most exciting youth programs, the film is an honest and emotional look into the real lived experiences of immigrant youth torn between the future they want for themselves and the future society will allow them to have.

American Graduate: Andy Roddick

Produced by Lanier High School PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab Students, Andy Roddick talks about how mentors helped him on the path to success.

This video is part of KLRU’s American Graduate project. Be sure to tune in on October 14th starting at 1 pm for our American Graduate Day programming. American Graduate Day 2017 is a four-hour, live broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis with special celebrity guests, relevant spokespeople and compelling stories from the students themselves.

At 5 pm on Oct. 14th will present I Am Here, which is also part of our American Graduate project. Produced by the Creative Action Youth Cinema Collective and Youth Rise Texas, “I Am Here” tells the story of Yesenia Martinez, an immigrant teen raised in the US whose family is undocumented. With a rising wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the city, Yesenia has to grapple with the reality of living as an undocumented immigrant, and what that means for her future. Produced by young people in two of Austin’s most exciting youth programs, the film is an honest and emotional look into the real lived experiences of immigrant youth torn between the future they want for themselves and the future society will allow them to have.

Sesame Street “Here For Each Other” kits go to APD’s Blue Santa

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, KLRU asked for and received 300 Sesame Street “Here For Each Other” kits, which use video, a picture book, and a discussion guide to help families guide young children through their thoughts and feelings after a natural disaster. KLRU in turned passed along the kits to the Austin Police Department’s Blue Santa to be distributed among families in Austin and in neighboring regions.

 

Solar Eclipse Resources for Families & Educators

The solar eclipse on August 21st is fast approaching.  You can watch it live on KLRU Q starting at 1:30 pm.
Follow the links to explore ways to engage kids as they learn about the solar eclipse. And by all means, do NOT let them look directly at the eclipse when it occurs without special protection!

In addition to the above resources, NOVA will be airing a special episode called Eclipse Over America on Monday, August 21 at 8:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU. It will air 2 days later on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU.

For younger students, you may want to show the kids the 13 minute Ready Jet Go! Total Eclipse of the Sunspot episode that teaches kids about the solar eclipse and how to create a pinhole box viewer to be able to see the eclipse without hurting their eyes. Airtimes

  • Tuesday, August 15th at 1:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU
  • Tuesday, August 15th at 5:30 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Friday, August 18th at 7:00 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Saturday, August 19th at 7:00 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Sunday, August 20th at 7:00 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Thursday, August 31st at 5:30 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Monday, September 25th at 1:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU

Here is the Pinhole Eclipse Projector activity sheet from Ready Jet Go:

We hope you’ll be able to guide your students in their discoveries about the solar eclipse!

Happy National Summer Learning Day!

National Summer Learning Day highlights the importance of keeping kids learning during the summer so that they can return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year!

This year, our partner Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area teamed up with KLRU to offer an exciting day of learning with PBS KIDS resources.

Kids were shown an episode of a PBS KIDS show called Design Squad in which two groups of teens compete against each other to build the best zip line thrill ride using the materials and tools provided.  The Walnut Creek club members were so excited to find out that they themselves had to complete a similar hands-on challenge. They were given rope, ping pong balls, marbles, rubber bands, construction paper, pipe cleaners, and masking tape.  They were instructed to work in small groups to plan the design of a carrier for the ping pong ball that would carry it safely from one end of a zip line to the other.
As soon as they were given the go ahead, you could hear the kids excitedly sharing their ideas and vision with each other, asking each other questions, problem solving together, and drawing out a plan.  Working together has its challenges and this was no exception, you could hear groups having to deal with conflicting ideas and compromising to reach a unified solution. Once they had solidified their plan, they began building collaboratively and testing out the design. You could hear groans when it didn’t work and the teams had to modify their designs and try again. You could hear another team cheering at the other side of the room when they had a breakthrough and it actually worked. You could feel the energy, see tons of smiles and hear the laughter coming from all sides of the room. It was pretty obvious that the kids were having fun while learning.

After completing the challenge, the kids gathered for a read-out-loud of the book, Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty.  The book encourages kids to persevere. On their way out, the kids were given a PBS summer activity booklet and a frisbee with the Klru.org/stem link printed on it. As they were exiting, I asked a little girl what she had learned. She said, “not to give up and if I keep trying, I’ll learn new things along the way and I will get better.”

Rather than keeping the fun limited to one day, BGCAA STEM director, Erica Egan, turned it up a notch by making it a week of fun. On Monday, 15 elementary-aged kids from the Bastrop Boys & Girls Clubs participated. On Wednesday, fifteen 1st and 2nd graders from Walnut Creek site joined in the fun. Tomorrow, Friday, the EAST site club members will get their turn to play while learning.  #KeepKidsLearning.

 

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.