Austin Revealed: Pioneers From the East – The Wong Family

Austin Revealed is an oral history project sharing the stories of Austin’s past and present to encourage discussion and thought around the city’s future.

In this series of Austin RevealedPioneers From the East, we profile three of the first families of Chinese origin to settle in the Austin area. Learn about their cultures, their histories and how living in Austin has shaped their families in these short documentaries.

The Wong Family
Growing up as part of one of the first families of Chinese descent in Austin, Dr. Mitchel Wong “wasn’t looking for prejudice, wasn’t looking for any animosity, and didn’t see any animosity.” In this documentary, Wong recounts his family’s immigrant history as a member of the “Pershing Chinese” and his personal journey from grocery boy to ophthalmologist.

Check out the stories of two other local families of Chinese origin, the Sing family and the Lung family.

Austin Revealed: Pioneers From the East – The Lung Family

Austin Revealed is an oral history project sharing the stories of Austin’s past and present to encourage discussion and thought around the city’s future.

In this series of Austin RevealedPioneers From the East, we profile three of the first families of Chinese origin to settle in the Austin area. Learn about their cultures, their histories and how living in Austin has shaped their families in these short documentaries.

The Lung Family
As an employee at the Texas Capitol Gift Shop, Joe Michael Lung meets visitors from around the globe. But for him, none of those places compare to Texas. In this documentary, Joe and his sister Meiling Lung tell stories of their grandfather, Joe Lung, and their father, Sam P. Lung—beloved restauranteurs in the community and members of one of the first families of Chinese descent in Austin.

Check out the stories of two other local families of Chinese origin, the Sing family and the Wong family.

Austin Revealed: Pioneers From the East – The Sing Family

Austin Revealed is an oral history project sharing the stories of Austin’s past and present to encourage discussion and thought around the city’s future.

In this series of Austin Revealed, Pioneers From the East, we profile three of the first families of Chinese origin to settle in the Austin area. Learn about their cultures, their histories and how living in Austin has shaped their families in these short documentaries.

The Sing Family
Mary Frances Aguallo and her grandson Raul Aguallo Hernandez always knew they were of Chinese descent, but the fragments of their history finally began to come together with the discovery of a lost box in an attic. In this documentary, the two explore their dual identity as Mexican American and Chinese American as part of the Sing family, one of the first families of Chinese origin to settle in Austin.

Check out the stories of two other local families of Chinese origin, the Wong family and the Lung family.

Austin Revealed: Pioneers From the East – Austin’s Asian American Resource Center

Austin Revealed is an oral history project sharing the stories of Austin’s past and present to encourage discussion and thought around the city’s future.

In this series of Austin RevealedPioneers From the East, we profile three of the first families of Chinese origin to settle in the Austin area – the Sing family, the Wong family and the Lung family.

In addition, Austin Revealed takes you inside Austin’s Asian American Resource Center, a community center focusing on celebrating Austin’s unique Asian community.

Austin’s Asian American Resource Center, or AARC, truly embraces Austin’s unique community of Asian people from all over the world. Acting as a bridge between the Asian American community and Austin, the center is one of the most utilized in the city. The AARC provides programs for senior citizens, activities for families, cultural and art exhibits and much more.

News Briefs: Tribune reports on Sandra Bland death investigation, Plus the rising cost of school supplies

New details emerged this week in the investigation into the death of Sandra Bland, who died a in Waller County jail last week. This weekend during PBS NewsHour, our partners at The Texas Tribune report on how lawmakers and residents of Prairie View are reacting to her death.

On July 10, a state trooper pulled over Bland for failing to signal during a lane change. She was taken into custody and three days later an officer found Bland dead, hanging in her jail cell. The Tribune’s Alana Rocha reports dash cam video, released Tuesday, raised many concerns about the officer’s conduct and the merits of Bland’s arrest. And now state lawmakers say the agencies involved will be transparent throughout the case, which is now being treated as a murder investigation.

“No one should jump to any conclusions. Wait for the investigations to be completed and then see what the facts have to say,” Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said.

Meanwhile, Rocha reports, Bland’s faith community, family, and friends are trying to keep the peace through prayer. But on Sunday, before a packed church crowd in Prairie View, prayer turned to frustration.

“In the county that is known for racial profiling and unjust behavior towards individuals of color, oh yes, I said it today, I want to go on the record,” Lenora Dabney of Prairie View Hope AME Church told the congregation. “They have made it known, but I have to pray for the community today, for hope and for healing.”

On Sunday during NewsHour, our story focuses on the rising cost of back-to-school supplies. Austin non-profit Manos de Cristo hosted its annual Back-to-School drive this week. During the drive the group hands out backpacks, school supplies and clothing to 2,000 low-income children, and many parents line up before sunrise to make sure they get what they need. Manos’ Education Coordinator Karen Green told us they estimate the total cost for each parent would be around $50 per child.

“It has been a trend where the children are asked to bring classroom school supplies,” Green said. “They share them once they get to school and those kids who do not bring them just feel kind of left out. [Parents] wouldn’t stand in line in the heat if they didn’t have a need.”

Austin ISD told us they rely on partner organizations, the business community, and non-profits to help cover the costs of supplies for families who cannot afford them. District officials told us AISD’s current deficit requires them to ask parents to outfit their children with supplies.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning policy research group, told us districts would love to provide supplies like folders and glue sticks for every child, but because state lawmakers haven’t provided enough school funding, districts are forced to push those costs on to parents.

“Texas saw very large school cuts in 2011, about 5.3 billion was cut from our school system,” Chandra Villanueva with CPPP said. “That money has not been fully restored [and] this issue of school supplies is just one example of how we’re not keeping pace with school funding and giving schools the resources that they need.”

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend at 6:30pm. Our Sunday story is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. American Graduate is aimed at increasing awareness about factors that lead to dropout in Central Texas

Do you have an American Graduate story idea? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at, post a comment, or tweet at us using #amgradtx. 

KLRU Summer STEM Resources


KLRU is a proud partner of many summer STEM camp providers in Central Texas. We have built this collection of PBS and other amazing and fun resources for participants in these camps and for anyone to use!

Audiovisual and interactive resources available through PBS MediaLearning site:

Web platforms and interactive games outside PBS that can be used in learning activities:

Software resources outside PBS that can be downloaded and installed on local computers:


What’s happening this weekend: July 24-26

Another Austin weekend chock-full of activities! Whether you’re willing to weather the heat or seeking cool shelter, we have recommendations for you.

Free music at the Bob Bullock Museum

Check out local acts The Octopus Project and Golden Dawn Arkestra for free Friday night at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. The Bullock Museum’s free concert series, Music Under the Star, is presented in partnership with Fun Fun Fun Fest in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Austin festival. Bring the whole family, chairs and blankets! Before you go, watch Arts In Context’s documentary on The Octopus Project, which expresses the meaning of “multi” media by creating lively art through music, film and technology. The band has been releasing joyous party music since 2002, all the while touring the world both on their own and as handpicked support for artists as diverse as Aesop Rock, DEVO and Explosions in the Sky.

Admission: Free. Hours: Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Details here.

Free classical music in the park from the Austin Symphony

Pack some water bottles and fans to stay cool and head over to the Hartman Concert Park in front of the Long Center City Terrance on Sunday evening. The Austin Symphony Orchestra presents free ensemble concerts every Sunday evening through August 23. The performance will feature music from jazz and light classical to pops selections and film scores. Bring a picnic, a blanket and the whole family!

KLRU featured the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s annual young composers program on Arts In Context in 2013. Watch the full episode to get in the Austin Symphony spirit!

Admission: Free. Hours: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Details here.

In 2012, KLRU Collective also told the story of Austin Symphony Conductor Peter Bay. A live 13-piece ensemble of musicians weaved in and out of classical compositions and original music by Graham Reynolds, while Bay conducts in true to life and abstract ways.

Take a day trip with the family!

Our very own Chet Garner, the Texas vacation specialist, has plenty of recommendations for you and your family. From fun activities to do locally to trips to towns in Central Texas and beyond. Visit The Daytripper website for recommendations! For inspiration, watch his trip to San Marcos.

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


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.

Q Night at the Movies 7/25

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

On this week’s Q Night at the Movies, after an all-new On Story, The Last Picture Show and Film School Shorts feature new beginnings. Arnel Pineda, new lead singer of Journey, faces his own new beginnings on Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey. And finally, catch up on the bands you missed from SXSW 2015.

On Story Rectify: Ray McKinnon on Characters & Culture at 7:30 pm
Ray McKinnon, creator of the Sundance Channel’s breakout hit, Rectify, details how to capture the personality of a culture through establishing strong characters, tone and atmosphere. The short film Spanola Pepper Sauce Company follows, directed by McKinnon and written by Graham Gordy, suggesting there’s more brewing in Spanola, AK than just its fine pepper sauce cooking.

All-Star Film Collection The Last Picture Show at 8 pm
The lives of high schoolers (Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges), a debutante (Cybill Shepherd) and others overlap in a dying 1950s Texas town.

Film School Shorts Where Do We Go From Here? at 10:05 pm

  • 11-Minute Mile – When an arrogant young day-trader is delayed at an airport during the Boston Marathon bombing, the threat of tragedy brings a moment of clarity.
  • Keep the Change – David has autism, but he prides himself on not being rigid, “like that movie, Rain Man.” He enjoys chasing women, offensive humor and “exclusive clubs,” but he comes to reevaluate “normal” when he meets a new love interest at a support group.

Independent Lens Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey at 10:31 pm
This film follows the real life rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the front man for iconic American rock band Journey. Arnel must now navigate the immense pressures of replacing a legendary singer and leading a world-renowned band on their most extensive world tour in years.

SXSW Flashback 2015 at 12 am
Presenting clips from and info about the films you loved or that slipped under your radar this past year, SXSW Flashback features interviews with the creative forces behind various SXSW hits.

KLRU-Q is broadcast channel 18.3. It is also available to digital cable subscribers of Grande on 284 and Time Warner on 20.

Highlights July 26 to August 1

KLRU Highlights

Caroline is relieved to find that Greg is a natural with Flora and a positive influence on Lawrence on Last Tango in Halifax at 7 pm on Sunday. Meanwhile, Alan begins to distance himself from Gary, while Gillian discovers that their private family matter has just gone public.

On Poldark on Masterpiece Part Six on Sunday at 8 pm, a mysterious smelting company challenges the local copper barons. Then, Poldark confronts the same cardsharp who swindled Francis.

As Joan faces a possible lifetime in prison, Kitty’s wracked with guilt that she knew about Joan but didn’t stop her on Crimson Field Episode Six at 9 pm on Sunday. Kitty is desperate for someone to trust, but will she turn to Thomas or Miles?

Monday at 9 pm on POV Tea Time, observe five Chilean women who gather monthly for a ritual that has sustained them through 60 years of personal and societal change. See how a routine of tea and pastries helped them commemorate life’s joys and cope with infidelity, illness and death.

It All Adds Up on Monday at 10 pm profiles the teachers and students of Wayne State University’s “Math Corps,” an organization that partners struggling middle and high-school students from Detroit’s public schools with collegians, who help teach vital math and life skills the kids need to succeed.

In 2011, Wanda Montemayor and a team including teachers, art therapists and students from all over Austin completed a hand made 1200 square foot mosaic mural at historic Deep Eddy pool. Mosaic: The Deep Eddy Mural Project at 10:30 pm on Monday takes us on a journey from inception through dedication and all the effort and love it took to make it happen in between.

See how America developed the most destructive invention in human history – the nuclear bomb – how it changed the world and how it continues to loom large in our lives on Bomb at 7 pm on Tuesday. Hear from historians and those who experienced the dawn of the atomic age.

Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail Episode #101 at 9 pm on Tuesday reveals the cultural, scientific and natural history of the most wondrous and terrifying rock on Earth – uranium. And at 9 pm on Wednesday, join physicist Dr. Derek Muller in Episode #102 to unlock the mysteries of uranium, one of the Earth’s most controversial elements.

Stephen Hawking is one of the most recognizable people on the planet, a superstar of the scientific world. But although Hawking is an iconic figure, who is the man behind the image? Hawking at 10 pm on Tuesday gives us a rare insight onto his life, both past and present.

Witness the explosion of life on the reef as the wet season approaches: corals spawn, sea birds nest and thousands of turtle hatchlings erupt over the beaches. And soon, torrential rain and storms will bring change and upheaval to the delicate ecosystem on Life on the Reef Episode Two at 7 pm on Wednesday.

Four years ago, an earthquake and tsunami triggered a disastrous meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. NOVA Nuclear Meltdown Disaster on Wednesday at 8 pm reveals the story of how Naohiro Masuda and his team averted disaster at Daini and how workers are struggling to clean up the mess at Daiichi.

At 10 pm on Wednesday and 9:30 pm on Friday, Austin City Limits showcases new acoustic music with Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids. Jarosz highlights her album Build Me Up From Bones; the Milk Carton Kids play folk songs from their LP The Ash & Clay.

Arts in Context Music for All at 7:30 pm on Thursday highlights Austin Soundwaves, a program that offers free, intensive music education to low-income youth from Travis and Hays County. Austin Soundwaves believes firmly in the principle that all students deserve a world-class education in the fine arts.

Aaron sends out a little leftover brisket to some chefs around Austin to see how they are inspired by brisket on BBQ with Franklin Leftovers at 8 pm on Thursday. We end with a taste test that turns into a party.

Chet heads north of Houston to explore a town built along the railroad – Tomball, Texas. He visits its many historic sites and takes a flight on a WW2 B-17 “flying fortress” bomber on The Daytripper at 8:30 pm on Thursday.

Watch the world’s best young pianists try to make a name for themselves at the Cliburn, a high-stakes piano competition that becomes as much a test of character as a musical proving ground on Virtuosity – The Cliburn at 8 pm on Friday. The winner is virtually guaranteed a performing career.

Shawna Coronado grows UP with living walls on Central Texas Gardener Living Vertical Walls at noon on Saturday. Then, tour American Botanical Council’s gardens for health.

Songwriter Kacey Musgraves sings tunes from her LP Same Trailer Different Park, while honky-tonker Dale Watson plays tunes from throughout his career on Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday.