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 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”

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 and Alamo Drafthouse present Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood 5/20 & 5/21

KLRU and the Alamo are heading to DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD as part of the ongoing PBS KIDS at the Alamo series. Reserve your seat with a donation of $1-5, with all ticket sales benefiting education programs at KLRU. This is an all-ages show with Alamo for All rules – noisy young fans won’t be asked to leave the theater but we do ask that cellphones and other devices stay dark. Screenings take place at Mueller, Lakeline and Slaughter Lane theaters. Reserve your spot today

This endearing show was inspired by the beloved “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and its relationship to this iconic kids’ series gives parents good reason to tune in with their tots. Children have taken an immediate shine to new neighbors Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, O the Owl, Miss Elaina, and Prince Wednesday. Offering a kid’s eye view of his world, Daniel invites families into his neighborhood where life’s little lessons await. With its catchy, musical strategies and engaging stories, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” provides a special experience that preschoolers and parents alike can share!

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 Akins High School
KLRU Educational Services
Campfire USA
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.

New Sesame Street character & new programs for Autism Awareness Month

Join KLRU this month to honor and raise awareness of Autism. Special episodes of your favorite children’s shows such as Arthur, Sesame Street and Dinosaur Train will be shown throughout April, so don’t miss out!

Meet Sesame Street’s newest character, Julia, who has autism. The special episode features all the Sesame Street friends meeting her and learning to appreciate all types of people. Sesame Street: Meet Julia airs Monday, April 10 at 9:30 am, 12:00 noon.

George is excited about spending time with his new friend, Carl, who seems to know all kind of cool facts about trains and about… well lots of things! Then George learns that Carl has Asperger’s Syndrome – a form of autism that makes Carl see the world differently than most people. Can George and Carl remain good friends – and perhaps even learn from each other? Find out on Arthur, airing Monday, April 10 at 4:30 pm.

Another Autism Awareness episode of Arthur, Pets and Pests & Go Fly A Kite airs Tuesday, April 11 at 4:30 pm.

Carl has agreed to play the accordion for George’s puppet show. But his routines are getting in the way of rehearsals. Now George must decide: keep Carl and risk the show, or replace Carl and risk his friendship? George learns that, even though Carl has autism, he can still be relied upon to make a creative contribution. This Autism Awareness episode of Arthur begins Wednesday, April 12 at 4:30 pm.

Buddy has a feeling he’s going to be a star in class, until he meets Dennis Deinocheirus – a kid who knows even more dinosaur facts than he does! Can Buddy get over his disappointment that he’s not the smartest kid in class, and make friends with Dennis? it’s not always easy to make friends with someone you don’t understand, but if you take the time and make the effort, it might not be as hard as you think. The Autism Awareness episode of Dinosaur Train begins Thursday, April 13 at 10:00 am.

A special episode of Bionic Bunny is interrupted, and Arthur, Buster, and George try to remember what comes next. But Carl is the only one who can straighten out the story. Find out what happens on Arthur, which airs Thursday, April 13 at 4:30 pm.

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.


It’s no joke! KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 starts April 1st

We have heard from the community that families want our fun, educational programming in the evening hours and at different times, such as when kids are sick or when mom and dad are making dinner. In response to this community need, on April 1st at 6 am we’ll launch a brand new channel featuring your favorite PBS Kids shows 24 hours a day.

We are thrilled that we can provide this new tool for all families in our 18 county viewing area – whether you’re at home, away from home, or on the go.

Watch KLRU PBS KIDS 24/7 on TV channel 18.4
Download the free PBS Kids Video App

Research consistently shows that PBS Kids resources help prepare children of all backgrounds for school and that exposure to our programs builds literacy skills, boosts math learning and fosters social-emotional growth.

PBS KIDS Ranks #1 in Preparing Kids for Success in School and Life
For more than a decade, the American public has consistently ranked PBS KIDS as the number-one educational media brand for children.iii In a recent survey, PBS KIDS ranked first in school readiness among children’s TV networks. When asked how well networks prepare children for school, 81 percent of parents said PBS KIDS helps a lot/somewhat, topping the next closest network by 11 percent. Parents also credited PBS KIDS for more positive behavior exhibited by children after watching. PBS KIDS stands out as the most trusted and safe place for children to watch television and the best use of families’ screen time, according to the study. PBS commissioned the study with an independent research firm. More findings are available here.

Leading children’s media experts point to PBS KIDS as a trusted resource for families, too. “PBS KIDS’ series are consistently among the highest-rated shows that Common Sense Media reviews,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. “Millions of children across our country stand to benefit from the increased access to PBS KIDS’ exceptional content with the launch of the 24/7 PBS KIDS channel.” Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in its recently updated guidelines for children’s media use, recommends PBS KIDS as the leading resource for quality, educational screen time. The new AAP guidelines also encourage parents to watch TV with their children and talk about it together.

Decades of research confirms that PBS KIDS media content helps children build critical skills – among them, early literacy, math and social-emotional skills – that enable them to find success in school and life, while also helping parents increase their own engagement in their children’s learning. A study conducted by WestEd found that PBS KIDS resources can help prepare children from low-income families for kindergarten.iv Additionally, parents’ awareness of their children’s math learning increased significantly – as did their use of strategies to support their children’s learning.v

“We know from years of research that PBS KIDS helps children build important social-emotional and school readiness skills, and that the learning potential of media is multiplied when parents co-view with their children,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “We are encouraged to see how much parents value family viewing time, ranking PBS KIDS as the number-one use of family screen time, because parent involvement is critical to our long-term vision of using the power of media to create a personalized learning experience that engages and meets the needs of kids, parents and teachers.”

Learning Opportunities for All

Live TV is the dominant way children access video, with most of kids’ TV viewing taking place on weeknights and This is true for all children, but especially for those in low-income families, who make up a significant percentage of PBS’ audience.vii The new PBS KIDS channel will be a critical resource for young children living in low-income households, who are more likely to rely on TV for educational content, and to be under-connected, with many families able to connect only via mobile devices and with inconsistent access to the internet.viii

iii Marketing & Research Resources, Inc. (M&RR), January 2017. Survey of 1,002 adults, 18 years of age and older, who participated via phone January 3-10, 2017. Results were weighted to be statistically representative of the adult U.S. population.

iv Learning with PBS KIDS: A Study of Family Engagement and Early Mathematics Achievement, WestEd, 2015.

v Learning with PBS KIDS: A Study of Family Engagement and Early Mathematics Achievement, WestEd, 2015.

vi Nielsen Total Audience Report 2Q2016.

vii Nielsen NPOWER Live PUT, 9/21/2015-9/18/2016, K2-11, K2-11 in HH w/Inc <$20K, select dayparts.

viii Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013, Common Sense Media; Opportunity for all? Technology and learning in lower-income families. A report of the Families and Media Project, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, 2016.