KLRU and Austin Public Libraries Launch 2015 Summer Reading Program

Families enjoying the activities at the Summer Reading Program launch.

Families enjoying the activities at the Summer Reading Program launch.

KLRU and the Austin Public Libraries launched their Summer Reading Program for the families in the Austin area on May 30, 2015 at Ruiz Public Library. Families were encouraged to attend and enjoy storytelling, balloon art, puppet shows and pick up their summer reading log.  Just by attending, all children were able to take home a book of their own. KLRU helped inform parents about Smart Screen Time and the use of KLRUKids.org as the “go to” location for their child’s entertainment during the hot summer days. KLRUKids.org is a safe, fun and educational tool that parents can rely on.  Kart Kingdom game launch was also a fun start to the summer. KLRU will be working with their partners and summer programs to promote the Summer Reading Program.


June 2015 Family Choice

KLRU chooses three to four programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together. In June 2015, we have the following lined up:

Wednesday, June 3 at 7:00 pm: NATURE “White Lions”
This is the story of two remarkable and extremely rare white lion cubs on their journey to adulthood. Both are female, sisters born as white as snow in May 2009, in South Africa’s Kruger Park. Growing up on the savanna, they must not only overcome the same survival challenges that all young lion cubs must face, they must also overcome the threats their high visibility brings.

Wednesday, June 17 at 7:00 pm: NATURE “Funkiest Monkeys”
Twenty-five years ago, filmmaker Colin Stafford-Johnson traveled to Sulawesi in Indonesia and fell in love with crested black macaques. These feisty monkeys are beach bums with punk hairstyles, expressive faces, copper colored eyes and some very unusual habits, making them some of the most charismatic of all monkeys. Learning that their numbers have dropped dramatically, he makes a return visit to find out why and to see if he can help.

Tuesday, June 30 at 7:00 pm: Mount Rushmore: American Experience
High on a granite cliff in South Dakota’s Black Hills tower the huge carved faces of four American presidents. Together they constitute the world’s largest sculpture. The massive tableau inspires awe and bemusement. How, and when, was it carved? Who possessed the audacity to create such a gargantuan work? The story of Mount Rushmore’s creation is as bizarre and wonderful as the monument itself.

Here For Each Other: Floods Family Guide


In response to the flooding in the Central Texas area over the Memorial Day weekend, KLRU would like to let the community know about the Sesame Street resource Here For Each Other: Floods Family Guide that is available in both English and Spanish.  All of the Here For Each Other materials can be found at sesamestreet.org/emergencies.

KLRU announces local 2015 PBS Kids Writers Contest Winners

writers contest 2015

Today, KLRU announced the local winners of the 2015 PBS KIDS Writers Contest. The first place winners in grades K-3 will advance to the national level of the contest. Over 190 creative entries were received from local children and 13 winners were chosen for first place, second place, and third place recognitions:




“At KLRU we were truly inspired by the enthusiasm and talent that this year’s contest entries demonstrated,” said Ben Kramer, Director of KLRU’s Educational Services Department. “Each year KLRU is a proud participant in PBS KIDS’ annual Writers Contest as it advances KLRU’s commitment to helping grow children’s literacy skills while encouraging expression and imagination. KLRU celebrates the talented children of our community and we wish the winners advancing to the national contest the best of luck.”

You can read all stories submitted in the KLRU area

The annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest is a national 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.

KLRU’s first place winners will advance to the national contest and a panel of some of America’s foremost children’s authors, illustrators and media creators will serve as honorary judges and rank the top 12 finalists. National winners will be announced this summer and the winning stories will be featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest.

The national winners will receive prize packages including a library of ARTHUR® books by best-selling children’s author, Marc Brown, courtesy of national prizing sponsor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and a personal technology device courtesy of PBS. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is produced by PBS and based on the Reading Rainbow® Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, a concept developed by WNED-TV, Buffalo.

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

May 2015 Family Choice

KLRU chooses three to four programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together. In May 2015, we have the following lined up along with a range of special programs and events that celebrate the Asian American experience for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Wednesday, May 6 at 7:00 pm: NATURE “Parrot Confidential”
Meet Lou. Abandoned in a foreclosed home, Lou is one of thousands of parrots in need of rescue. From the wilds of Costa Rica to suburban America, a loveable, quirky cast of parrots will reveal their unforgettable tales and the bittersweet world they share with humans.

Wednesday, May 13 at 7:00 pm: NATURE “Animal Childhood”
In every animal’s life, there comes a time when it must stand on its own two feet, so to speak, and face the world alone. These are the trials and tribulations of young animals all over the world, as they prepare to leave home.

Wednesday, May 27 at 8:00 pm: NOVA “First Man on the Moon”
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he won instant fame. Yet this accomplished engineer and test pilot was so determined to stay out of the limelight that few know the personal story of how his rare combination of talent, luck and experience led to his successful command of Apollo 11.

KLRU congratulates Westlake HS Teacher Natalie Cannon!


Central Texas educators continue to garner national attention from PBS LearningMedia!

Natalie Cannon is the latest educator to be named a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. Natalie teaches various levels of Latin at Westlake HS in Eanes ISD, and co-sponsors The WHS Latin Club. Natalie began teaching middle school at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School before moving to Westlake High School, where she has now taught for six years. Her favorite part of her job is finding productive uses for modern technology in order to enliven an ancient language for her students.

Over the next year, Natalie will take part in a professional development program that will prepare her to extend her influence as a digital learning ambassador in her school and community.

Natalie’s favorite PBS LearningMedia resource: A Roman’s Eye View

PBS LearningMedia is PBS’ digital archive of 100,000+ educational assets made available to educators and the US public – for free! In Central Texas, over 7,000 educators have to date created LearningMedia accounts for use in their classrooms and for their own interests. Teachers can build and archive lessons incorporating digital media, and a new student feature allows their students to create and display storyboards to demonstrate their knowledge.

Check out Central Texas’ prior LearningMedia Digital Innovator, Julie Hildebrand, here


Order Up!

Kids enjoying the iPad station and the "Order Up!" game
Kids enjoying the iPad station and the "Order Up!" game

Kids enjoying the iPad station
and the “Order Up!” game

KLRU participated in the Boys & Girls Club Health Fair this past Saturday, April 11th benefiting all the Austin sites. Each site presented an activity of what their children have been learning about healthy habits.  KLRU had five of the East Club site’s iPads available for 100 kids to explore the PBS apps dedicated to healthy eating. We also presented ”Order Up!” which is a live-action group game for up to 35 participants (in English and Spanish). Kids receive cards with varied foods and a challenge to assemble a meal that meets specified criteria (food groups, price, nutrition, etc.). The game grows in complexity in each round, with multiple criteria and bonus points for extra-healthy meals. Occasionally, a “trash round” permits a junk-food binge, but with tooth brushes offered as a reminder that trash foods should be once-in-a-while treats!

April 2015 Family Choice

KLRU chooses three to four programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together. In April 2015, we have the following lined up:

Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00 pm: NOVA “Alien Planets Revealed”
Combining animation with input from expert astrophysicists and astrobiologists, “Alien Planets Revealed” takes viewers on a journey along with the Kepler telescope. How does the telescope look for planets? How many of these planets are like our Earth? Will any of these planets be suitable for life as we know it?

Wednesday, April 15 at 7:00 pm: NATURE “Animal Homes: Location, Location, Location”
Finding a good base of operations is key to successfully raising a family. One must find the right stream or tree, the right building materials, neighbors and sometimes tenants. In the wild, every home is a unique DIY project, every head of household a designer and engineer.

Wednesday, April 22 at 7:00 pm: NATURE “Animal Houses: Animal Cities”
For some animals, living in the midst of huge colonies of their own kind is the most secure and rewarding housing arrangement. Icelandic puffins form nesting colonies of more than a million, providing shared information about food sources and reducing the odds of attacks on individual birds. But colonies are useful for predators, too.

Wednesday, April 22 at 8:00 pm: NOVA “Invisible Universe Revealed”
Twenty-five years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. In honor of Hubble’s landmark anniversary, NOVA tells the remarkable story of the telescope that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it.

Peg + Cat 100th Day of School

Peg + cat 100

To celebrate this year’s 100th Day of School, several partners held a Peg + Cat 100th Day of School event this past month. Both Foundation Communities: Trails at the Park and Boys & Girls Club East enjoyed playing the Peg + Cat “Peg’s Pizza Place” activity as well as select videos on the number 100.  For the second year, Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center held a full morning of activities for their Kindergarten classes. The library was filled with centers all themed around the number 100!

Anita Uphaus EC Center
Anita Uphaus EC Center
Boys & Girls Club East
Boys & Girls Club East
Foundation Communities: Trail at the Park
Foundation Communities: Trails at the Park

March 2015 Family Choice

KLRU chooses three programs each month for your family to enjoy and view together. In March 2015, we have the following lined up:

Wednesday, March 4 at 7:00 pm: Earthflight, NATURE Presentation “Flying High”
A behind-the-scenes look at how Earthflight was made features drones and camera-carrying birds.  To fly like a bird, Earthflight not only captures remarkable images of wild flocks but also relies on some extraordinary relationships between people and birds. Filmed over four years on 6 continents and in more than 40 countries, the Earthflight team uses many extraordinary techniques.
Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 pm: To Catch A Comet
On November 11, billions of kilometers from Earth, a spacecraft orbiter and lander will do what no other has dared to attempt: land on the volatile surface of a comet as it zooms around the sun at 67, 000 km/hr. If successful, it could help peer into our past and unlock secrets of our origins.
Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 pm: NATURE “Ireland’s Wild River”
The Shannon is Ireland’s greatest geographical landmark and the longest river. It is both a barrier and highway — a silver ribbon holding back the rugged landscapes of the west from the gentler plains to the east. On its journey south, the Shannon passes through a huge palette of rural landscapes; where on little-known backwaters, Ireland’s wild animals and plants still thrive as almost nowhere else.