Meet The Stanton Family

What do science lessons and family bonding have in common? For Patrick, Lucinda and Naomi Stanton, the connection comes from their time together at the Ruff Ruffman Family & Community Learning workshop.

The Stantons participated in this four week series along with other area families. Designed to spark STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) interest in young children, the workshop also empowers parents like Patrick and Lucinda to support their child’s education both at school and home.

“With the four weeks of science projects and doing things and meeting different people, Naomi learned a lot. It was awesome!” Patrick’s observation of his daughter’s time at the Ruff Ruffman workshop is a testament to what a valuable experience these sessions are for kids and parents alike.

Low-income and underserved households are often less equipped to address learning gaps. KLRU’s collaboration with key community partners addresses critical needs in early education by presenting lessons through play and hands-on activities. Research-based, engaging outreach to Central Texas families provides practical tools that these participants can continue to utilize well beyond the workshop.

Miriam Mendoza, KLRU’s Project Director for Ready To Learn says “I just like those little moments where the parent realizes ‘Wow, my child can learn through playing and I can be a part of that.’”

Each session starts with a meal, giving the adults the chance to talk and connect with neighbors who also have young families. Spending quality time with neighbors expands the support network for all these parents, which in turn supports all the children in their STEM progress.

Lucinda was particularly excited about the PBS KIDS Playtime Pad Naomi received after graduating from Ruff Ruffman. “It has a lot of learning apps: reading, drawing, spelling. It’s helping her to get more familiar with computers because they use them at school. And it actually helped me out too.” For some families, this is the first device they’ve brought home. This access lets kids hone technology skills and engage in creative, thoughtful play.

The Stantons gained the confidence at our Family & Community Learning workshop to tackle hands-on engineering projects together. KLRU’s Ready To Learn promotes early learning and school readiness while striving to build a more informed and connected Central Texas. And from Naomi’s smiles, this is just the first of many exciting STEM discoveries that she’ll make with her parents there to cheer her on.

“We’re thankful for the educational workshops KLRU provides in the community.”

                                                                                                        – The Stanton Family————————————————————————

Do you value KLRU? Find out how to help at

Family & Community Learning (FCL) workshops are part of the Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM) project through the Ready to Learn (RTL) initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.


Get to know KLRU’s early childhood community partners: Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area. These local organizations are essential to the success of our workshops! They recruit families like the Stantons, they provide the space and their staff lead instruction.

Check out additional information about KLRU’s time at the Ruff Ruffman camp.

Read more about KLRU’s involvement with Ready To Learn (RTL) and Family & Community Learning (FCL).

KLRU & BGCAA: Ruff Ruffman Sensational Science Camp

KLRU and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area joined forces to offer a fun 4-day Ruff Ruffman Sensational Science Camp for 10 kids ages 5-8 at Meadowbrook Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) club. The children learned about science through hands-on projects, digital games, and videos that revolve around one of our favorite PBS KIDS characters, Ruff Ruffman. The kids learned to think like scientists as they engaged in the engineering design process which focuses on identifying real-world problems and designing solutions.

It’s great to be able to listen to the children’s perspective on their camp experience. Brittany Gant, the Boys & Girls Clubs STEM Coordinator, came up with the idea of having the kids vlog.  She wanted them to be comfortable when talking about what they learned. Brittany explains that she “allowed club members to be in their element, technology based social media, and integrate it with what they were learning at the Ruff Ruffman camp so that they could connect it to their lives in a meaningful way.”

We asked three 8 year old girls about their science camp experience. Meet Karlee, Ferrah, and Brooklyn! Watch the video above to hear them talking about the camp!

Both Ferrah and Brooklyn mentioned that the camp reinforced their strong work ethic and helped them learn the value of persistence, two important life skills that will serve them into adulthood. Ferrah later shared with KLRU that she learned to plan before creating something new.  Karlee valued the opportunity to work in small groups to collaborate and problem-solve as a team.

In a moment of self-awareness, Ferrah acknowledged her inquisitive nature and her ability to use her imagination to be innovative.  Brooklyn revealed her aptitude for resolving investigations.

The camp revolves around the PBS KIDS character, Ruff Ruffman, and as Ferrah excitedly shared, “he is a great scientist!” Brooklyn points out that he is very knowledgeable. It’s wonderful that these kids now have a role model. Perhaps they will be inspired to follow in his footsteps and become scientists themselves!

As the KLRU Project Director for Ready to Learn, I was present at the camp and was particularly impressed by Ferrah. I asked Lauren Jarvis, the Club Director, to tell me more about her.  Lauren shared that Ferrah “really likes doing new things” and “likes everything science and technology.” Even though she is only 8 years old, Ferrah participates in Google’s CS First, a computer science program designed for 9 to 14 year old children.  Lauren has observed that she completes the lessons and understands the material and the processes being used. Ferrah also participates in Hour of Code alongside her friends, Karlee and Brooklyn. Ferrah is also very creative and artistic. Lauren thinks that “she is very special and has a bright future ahead of her.”  Here at KLRU, we couldn’t agree more! It is our hope to continue to support children like Ferrah to be successful in school and life.

The Ruff Ruffman Sensational Science Camp is part of the Ready to Learn (RTL) initiative funded by the Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for 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.  KLRU partners with local community organizations to host camps and workshops at their sites. Our partners are Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area.

Please visit the PBS Learning Media Ready to Learn portal to learn more about this initiative and to access resources for families and educators.

Won’t You Be Daniel Tiger’s Valentine?

There are just 10 days left to get your Special Valentines tickets to Daniel Tiger!

❤️ Don’t miss Daniel Tiger and all his neighborhood friends live! This engaging musical delights little kids and grown-ups alike with its vibrant production and important lessons about being a good friend. Give your family a Valentine’s present to remember with this exclusive offer from KLRU! ❤️

daniel tiger live 2018

Donate $200 and we’ll thank you with a family 4-pack of tickets to this magical adventure at Bass Concert Hall February 24 at 5:30 p.m. 

These are exclusive seats reserved just for KLRU donors and tickets are limited!

Donate Button

And the live tour could not be better timed as 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the show that inspired the creation of Daniel Tiger in the first place: Mr Roger’s Neighborhood.

Surprise your family with make-believe and grr-ific fun this Valentine’s Day! ❤️ Click on the orange donate button to give today and celebrate with us on February 24! Donate by February 21—tickets must be picked up at the KLRU offices

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:

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.


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.


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 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.

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!

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

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 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

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



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.



KLRU wants to give YOU Odd Squad LIVE!

Engage with KLRU and you might win Odd Squad Live tickets!

There is something a little odd happening in Austin, and we want YOU on the case. This winter the Odd Squad lands at The Long Center with new agents, new music and a set of mysteries the entire audience will help solve.
Ms. O will lead the investigation from headquarters, helping you and rookie Agents Orion and Oleanna use STEM skills to stop Father Time and Lady Terrible from carrying out their villainous deeds.

Want a chance to join in on the laughter and adventure?
There are 4 ways to enter, which means 4 chances to win!

Share a slightly odd picture from your life to social media and tag KLRU.

Does your sandwich have a hole in the middle?
Are you combing your hair with a fork?
If it’s fun and odd, we want to see it!

1. Facebook: Tag @KLRU-TV, Austin PBS
2. Instagram: Tag KLRU and add #yourklru
3. Twitter: Tag @klru
(note: For KLRU to see your entry, settings for your FB post, Instagram, or Tweet must be public.)
4. You can also gain an entry by simply donating on the form below.

Winners will receive 2 tickets to see Odd Squad Live January 15, 2017 at 5:30pm as well as one youth-sized Odd Squad t-shirt!

Good luck!
Winners will be notified on December 16th!

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.