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

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!

All Aboard! Win a Family 4-pack of Tickets for Day Out with Thomas!

Engage with KLRU for your chance to win a Family 4-pack of tickets to Day Out with Thomas this Fall! 

Based on the books by Reverend W. Awdry, the classic animated series of Thomas & Friends has entertained and sparked the imagination of children for generations. The adventures of Thomas and his friends, James, Percy, Emily, Henry, Gordon, and Sir Topham Hat, on the Island of Sodor demonstrate the values of cooperation, friendship, manners, and hard work.

What you could win: Day Out with Thomas gives a family of 4 the opportunity to ride a real train pulled by their favorite engine, Thomas! Kids can also meet Sir Topham Hat and enjoy live music, storytelling, a rock climbing wall, crafts and temporary tattoos. As an added bonus, a 54 piece Thomas Wooden Railway set is included for hours of imagination and memories of your special Day Out with Thomas.

How to enter: Post a photo across Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of you and/or your kids watching Thomas & Friends or playing with their favorite Thomas & Friends toy, costume or book. Tell us WHO their favorite character is from the show. Posting on all 3 social media platforms enters you in the drawing 3 times!

Note: On Facebook, be sure to tag KLRU-TV, Austin PBS in the post (Please note: Your Facebook settings for this post must be set to “Public” so that we can see it and enter you in the giveaway). On Twitter & Instagram, be sure to tag @klru and use #yourklru. And on email, be sure to Cc membership@klru.org.

Winner will be notified on September 6th!

Here’s your chance to see Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!

Engage with KLRU to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! at the Long Center on October 16, 2016!

The legacy of the beloved “Mister Rogers” lives on with the hit television series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, from The Fred Rogers Company and airing daily on KLRU. Now, Daniel and all of his friends are hopping aboard Trolley to delight live audiences with DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE! Donning his iconic red sweater, Daniel takes the audience on an interactive musical adventure as he and his friends explore the vibrant world of their much-loved Neighborhood of Make-Believe, sharing stories of friendship, helping others, and celebrating new experiences. This live theatrical production filled with singing, dancing, laughter and “grr-ific” surprises will warm the hearts of multiple generations.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! is sure to create a lasting memory for your family so make your contribution below to enter or engage with your community-supported PBS station the following ways to enter in for a chance to win a pair of tickets!

Here is how it works:
Post a video or photo across Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of you and/or your kiddos watching or interacting with Daniel Tiger. It can be a photo with favorite Daniel Tiger toy, book or even a screenshot of your favorite character and WHY Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is so special to you and your family!

Note: On Facebook, be sure to tag KLRU-TV, Austin PBS in the post (Please note: Your Facebook settings for this post must be set to “Public” so that we can see it and enter you in the giveaway). On Twitter & Instagram, be sure to tag @klru and use #yourklru. And on email, be sure to Cc membership@klru.org.

We’ll contact the winner on September 6th! 

El Mundo Newspaper’s Back to School Fest 8/20

KLRU Kids

With up to 6,000  attendees and over 2,000 students helped in previous years, the El Mundo Newspaper will once again be hosting their Back to School Fest on August 20, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. KLRU will be in attendance to provide educational resources from PBS Kids programs.

The fest which will offer a variety of health services including: immunizations, nutrition education and health screenings. After completing a minimum of three screening, parents or children will be eligible for a backpack packed with school supplies, while supplies last. All parents or guardians must bring child’s shot records for immunization services.

The event is free and open to the entire community. While there, attendees will have the chance to participate in raffles, music, food and family fun.

Location: Delco Center 4601 Pecan Brook Dr., Austin, TX 78724

Summer Learning Day with KLRU Kids!

28314200065_ccf1e7b6ab_zKLRU Educational Services visited three partner sites yesterday to deliver summer learning fun to kids. All received an armful of fun summer learning materials, including PBS Kids activity books, picture/chapter books, puzzle cubes pointing to free KLRU/PBS Kids apps and websites, and Pete the Cat headbands!

Summer Learning Day is a national event led by the National Summer Learning Association designed to highlight the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer.

#keepkidslearning #klrukids

New PBS Kids “Measure Up” app

School’s out for summer and that means endless days at the pool, but with the new PBS KIDS’ education phone application children won’t be falling behind anytime soon.

Thursday June 16, PBS KIDS debuted ‘Measure Up!,’ a free app that is designed to help children build math skills and encourage parents to support their learning. Primarily designed for 3 to 5-year-olds, the app builds on measurement skills that feature games, videos and activities from popular PBS KIDS’ series. In addition, parents and caregivers will be able to track progress and find activities through a companion app with tools.
“Given the overwhelming number of apps available, it’s often difficult for parents to find great educational content for their kids,” said Sara DeWitt, Vice President, PBS KIDS Digital. “’PBS KIDS Measure Up!’ not only helps build math skills in a fun learning environment, it also lets parents track the skills in which their kids excel, and the skills where they may need more practice.”

In PBS KIDS Measure Up!, children can visit a world with characters from PBS KIDS’ series DINOSAUR TRAIN, PEG + CAT and SID THE SCIENCE KID. There, they explore concepts of length, width, capacity and weight while collecting rewards through each game or activity. The app thoughtfully sequences different types of media to ensure kids will build math skills. According to PBS KIDS, each game, video and activity has be rigorously tested to ensure a positive learning experience for children.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s senior vice president for education and children’s content Debra Sanchez says, “This innovative new app demonstrates public media’s ability to engage children through free, high-quality educational programming across all platforms.”

Bringing parents into the learning adventure, ‘PBS KIDS Measure Up!’ connects with a free companion app for adults: the PBS KIDS Super Vision App for parents. PBS KIDS Super Vision provides parents and caregivers with updates on their kids’ progress throughout the Measure Up! app and shares information and recommendations, suggesting related activities that they can do with their children to build on the skills they are developing. Through these features, parents and caregivers can engage in, better understand and guide their children’s learning.

 

KLRU wants to GIVE YOU Sesame Street LIVE!

Engage with KLRU this spring and enter to win a chance a family 4-pack to the April 9 show at 2 p.m.!

KLRU is giving away four family four-packs to the Sesame Street Live show, “Make a New Friend” playing at the Frank Erwin Center in April.  Don’t miss your favorite Sesame Street characters when they come to town in a larger-than-life musical production.  Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby and more are promised to delight in this 90-minute show, a perfect length for young children!  

Sesame Street Live is sure to create a lasting memory for your family, make your contribution below to enter or engage with your community-supported PBS station the following ways to enter in for a chance to win one of the four family 4-packs!

Here is how it works:
Post a video or photo across Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of you and/or your kiddos watching or interacting with Sesame Street. Can be a photo with favorite Sesame Street toy, book or even a screenshot of your favorite character and WHY Sesame Street is so special to you and your family!

Note: On Facebook, be sure to tag KLRU-TV, Austin PBS in the post (Please note: Your Facebook settings for this post must be set to “Public” so that we can see it and enter you in the giveaway). On Twitter & Instagram, be sure to tag @klru and use #yourklru. And on email, be sure to Cc membership@klru.org.

As your only community-supported public television station we know you rely on us to help you explore your world and make connections in your community. That’s why your investment, a gift at any amount, is so important to Your KLRU! Thank you!

KLRU’s Work Impacted by New Every Student Succeeds Act

Today President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, the first major national education overhaul since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. KLRU’s Educational Services work is impacted in two specific ways by the passage of this law.

First, the ESSA Act includes funding for Ready to Learn, the PBS Kids endeavor which leads to the production of high-quality educational shows, apps, online games, and additional resources, and which includes funds for KLRU and 10 other stations nationwide to pilot implementation and distribution of these assets.

Second, one of the new features of the ESSA is that high schools must use graduation rates as one of several measures of progress. KLRU is a participant in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative, and as such, we have been working over the last two years to assemble a body of knowledge and resources about how to enable more students to stay in school and graduate, especially in those schools and among demographic groups with chronically high dropout rates.

In fact, tonight at 5:30 pm, KLRU is taping a student town hall, in which we have gathered well over 100 middle and high school youth for a televised forum on their perspectives on key issues – what challenges do they face on the road toward high school graduation, what resources have they found meaningful, and where do we adults continue to miss opportunities to support them in their journeys? You can RSVP for this event here. Plan to watch Stop The Drop: Engaging Students In Their Futures on December 17 at 9pm.

Stop the Drop

www.klru.org/americangraduate

With a month left of summer, teach your kids ‘Smart Screen Time’

KLRU Kids

With just a month left before classes start for Austin-area school districts, and as temperatures rise in Central Texas, it’s important to make sure the time your kids spend in front of their screens is educational and constructive.

ben&cookieBen Kramer, vice president of education for KLRU, started the Smart Screen Time initiative two years ago to develop a set of guidelines for digital media use for children, parents, educators and caretakers. We sat down with Ben to talk about the program and what parents can do with only one month of summer left for many kids.

Download a printable version of the Smart Screen Time guide (pdf): Smart Screen Time™ | La Pantalla Inteligente™ To watch Smart Screen Time videos in Spanish and English, click here.

 

Where did the idea for Smart Screen Time come along and what were the original goals of the project?

The idea first came along because we were starting to get questions about how much screen time is safe for kids, and it turned out to be a much more complicated answer than just a set time limit. In the meantime, what was happening is that in our own outside world, the use of screens was exploding, particularly with kids. Because as tablet computers became more and more prevalent, younger and younger kids could manipulate them in ways that they couldn’t do with keyboards or even with smartphones. The tablets really did make a huge difference for these littlest kids.

So, we embarked on some kind of messaging campaign – we are perhaps the only media company in families’ lives that will actually tell them to turn us off. We know that our educational goals for our programs and our apps and all the work that we do isn’t really complete until the kids can actually do things with what they’ve picked up from the programs or games, like read or solve problems. That was the genesis of it, and what we’ve found is that it’s just really resonated with all walks of life. Everyone you talk to has at least some concern about the amount of screen time that kids are getting in their lives, and what it might mean for their development. So, we wanted to come at it in a way of saying, “We’re a media company, so we’re in the midst of it, we produce, we make stuff, but here’s when you know when it’s too much.” We want to shift the question from a simple quantity question to a more quality question, and that’s how Smart Screen Time came up.

We say that kids know instinctively when screen time is smart and when it’s silly. When it’s provoking their thinking, or when it’s just pure entertainment. And we all have time in our lives where we just want pure entertainment. We all have our trash TV moments, we all have our silly movie moments, we all have our stupid game moments, we have all that, so it would be foolhardy to go to kids and say, “No, we only want your screen time to be smart.” That’s not the lives that we as adults lead. So instead, we think of much more realistic and beneficial conversation among families is, “Well, what’s our family balance between smart and silly?”

Many similar campaigns simply tell parents how much to limit their children’s social media use. Why encourage the parents to use screens along with their children?

It’s the same sort of carryover that you would have if a parent is doing a hands-on activity with a kid, or if they’re reading a book with a kid. The three-way interaction of parent and kid and learning event, be it a book or a tablet or a program, is amplified when the discussion occurs. It really helps solidify learning. So the tendency is for kids to just wander off and do their own thing with the screen, and without this injection of saying talking actually solidifies the learning, and it doesn’t have to be talking right there in the moment, it can be after the fact, we lose this opportunity because it’s too easy for kids to go off and have their screen lives, so we want to bring adults back into this triad.

With only one month left of summer, what can parents do now to help their kids be successful when it comes to using screens efficiently?

The last month is critical, because first of all, the temperature has gone way up, so these kids are going to be spending more time indoors. Secondly, kids are going to be more bored during the summer. Thirdly, the more schools turn to tablets and chrome books and whatever for the main delivery of their resources, our messaging really doesn’t change as we get to the end of summer and into the fall again. The key is to have an honest and open dialogue with your kids and to reach some decisions that all of you can be comfortable with, not just adult dictating to kid, but what screen practices are you going to uphold in your home that apply to everyone? Including the balance of smart and silly, including the determination when somebody in the home becomes a screen zombie, that some decision has to happen at that moment, and that decision is either get active and do something else or go to bed, that’s it. There’s no wiggle room. These problems are not going to go away at the end of summer.

What other resources do you have for parents who want to help their children use screens in a smarter way?

We’ve tried to build KLRU Kids as a safe browsing experience for kids to find stuff they’re interested in. On that, we have a set of screenshots of all the apps we put on our machines, our iPads, so that folks can get a glimpse of what we recommend online through the website itself but then within the website there’s the recommended apps button which will give the list of things we recommend for tablets.