American Graduate: Dual Language Students Celebrate Tet New Year

The Austin ISD school board voted to expand its Spanish dual language program to two middle schools starting next school year. But Spanish isn’t the only language in the district’s dual language classrooms – Summitt Elementary is the district’s only Vietnamese dual language program. On Saturday during PBS NewsHour Weekend our KLRU News Brief goes inside that program, as students celebrate Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, and the Year of the Goat.

Olivia Hernandez, AISD’s Director of Bilingual Education says learning a second language fosters “academic and cognitive development” and that the goal for these students is for them to graduate “bilingual, bicultural and biliterate.”

Two teachers are assigned to each classroom. One is ESL certified and will teach the children language arts and social sciences in English.  She’s paired with a teacher who is bilingually certified in Vietnamese and will teach math and science in Vietnamese.

“We’re adding a second language, and we’re not eradicating their native language,” said Hernandez. “Language is the most important item or piece in identity of a person. If you lose your native language, you’re losing part of your identity.”

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour weekend, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6:30. This story is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, which is aimed at increasing awareness around the dropout crisis in Central Texas. Do you have an American Graduate story idea? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at CivicSummit@klru.org, post a comment, or tweet at us using #amgradtx. 

KLRU News Brief: Huston-Tillotson Clinic to Increase Access to Mental Health Care in East Austin

On Sunday during PBS NewsHour Weekend our KLRU News Brief takes a look at a partnership between The University of Texas’ Dell Medical School and Huston-Tillotson University which aims to expand mental health care to under-served residents in East Austin.

A clinic inside the Sandra Joy Anderson Community Health and Wellness Center at Huston-Tillotson, which was funded by a major gift from Austin Civil Rights pioneer Ada Anderson, will open this summer. It will also offer an opportunity for medical student training. Austin Travis County Integral Care will act as the health provider for mental and behavioral health services. CommUnity Care will operate the facility.

There is currently a shortage in mental health care providers and funding for mental health services in East Austin. Partners involved in the clinic also talk about a stigma surrounding mental health in Austin’s under-served communities.

“I think that there are certain cultural issues related to even acknowledging that issues exist. And part of our effort here is to break down that barrier,” said Dr. Larry L. Earvin, President and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University.

“It only makes sense to treat the whole person, and not have the community mental health center be on one side of town, and have the clinic services operating in another location,” Austin Travis County Integral Care CEO David Evans said. “We’re working diligently with the medical school to make sure that the providers will be able to relate to the community.”

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6:30. 

Q Night at the Movies February 21

Variety Studio: Actors on Actors  at 6:30 pm
The actors responsible for the most exciting performances of the year talk about their work and more. Featuring Reese Witherspoon “Wild” and Michael Keaton “Birdman”, Keira Knightley “The Imitation Game” and Ethan Hawke “Boyhood”, David Oyelowo “Selma” and Jack O’Connell “Unbroken”, Jenny Slate “Obvious Child” and Felicity Jones “The Theory of Everything”.

On Story at 7 pm
Screenwriters Abby Kohn, Geoff LaTulippe, Dana Stevens, Marc Silverstein and Marcie Mayhorn-Moderator behind “Never Been Kissed,” “Safe Haven,” “Going the Distance” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” contemplate the important balance of relationship, conflict and originality when creating romantic comedies.

Feature film Four Weddings and a Funeral at 8 pm
A reserved Englishman meets attractive American Carrie at a wedding and falls in love with her, but his inability to express his feelings seems to forestall any possibility of relationship – until they meet again and again.

Ain’t It Cool With Harry Knowles at 10 pm
On this first of a two part special with House of Cards Creator Beau Willimon, Harry explores the cinematic world of politics.

Film School Shorts at 10:30 pm
Fireworks (Columbia) – Against a Fourth of July backdrop in Los Angeles, two boys with firecrackers go on a quest to impress a group of girls. Directed by Victor Hugo Duran
Pearl Was Here (Cal Arts) – A scraggly girl slips away from her mother to hide among stuffed animals in the safe and sealed environment of a claw machine. Written and directed by Kate Marks
Spark (Univ. of Texas) –  Ricky is left outside while his dad visits a lady friend. Suddenly, he’s confronted by her daughter, Callie. Written and directed by Annie Silverstein.

Science Night Feb. 25

The Feb. 25 Science Night features wild orangutans, the iconic Hagia Sophia, and Earth’s most important resource — water.

Nature The Last Orangutan Eden at 7 p.m.

Ecologist Chris Morgan (Bears of the Last Frontier) travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the work being done to save its population of wild orangutans, which is quickly dwindling due to deforestation. Morgan spends time with orphaned orangs at rehabilitation centers observing the process of teaching them the survival skills they’ll need to be released back into the wild. But to truly understand the complexity of a wild orangutan society and the skills the orangs would have learned from their mothers in the wild, Morgan travels to a remote patch of forest also in Northern Sumatra, a peat swamp forest known as Suaq Balimbing. Suaq is in a protected area and part of a World Heritage Site. Working with a team of experienced researchers, he becomes completely immersed in this unique social band of wild orangs who use tools, share food, forage together, and create their own distinct culture. For the first time, advanced cameras are used to follow the orangs throughout the canopy to provide an intimate, clear picture of how these arboreal apes spend their days and nights and interact with one another.

NOVA Hagia Sophia – Istanbul’s Ancient Mystery at 8 p.m.

The soaring dome of Hagia Sophia dominates Istanbul’s skyline. Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, this magnificent building has inspired reverence and awe. For eight hundred years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world; the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its dome with room to spare. How has it survived its location on one of the world’s most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since it was built in 537 AD? As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is urgently investigating Hagia Sophia’s seismic secrets. NOVA follows the team’s discoveries as they examine the building’s unique structure and other ingenious design strategies that have insured the dome’s survival. At the climax to the show, the engineers build a massive 8-ton model of the building’s core structure, place it on a motorized shake table and hit it with a series of simulated quakes, pushing it collapse -a fate that the team is determined to avoid in the real world. The Unshakeable Hagia Sophia is a detective story that reveals how this architectural wonder has proven so resilient for so long, and how it came to serve as a proud expression for the great civilizations that adopted it as a symbol.

Earth A New Wild Water at 9 p.m.

Sanjayan explores humankind’s relationship with the Earth’s most important resource: water. Unraveling dramatic connections between fresh water and the health of the planet, he uncovers spectacular wildlife stories that center on managing the natural pulse of the planet’s water. The episode includes a kayak journey that follows the Colorado River to the sea; the elephants and people at the singing wells of Kenya; the surprising connection between AIDS and a small fish in Lake Malawi; and a look at how hunters in America saved one of the greatest gatherings of birds on the continent.

Rescheduled programming for 2/24

KLRU Highlights

KLRU experienced equipment failure that cause program changes on Feb. 17 on KLRU and KLRU Q. We are redoing our schedule for next Tuesday in order to present several of the programs that were missed. Here’s the new lineup:

KLRU Feb. 24
7 pm: Italian Americans episode one (originally scheduled for Feb. 17)
9 pm: Italian Americans episode two

Italian Americans & Genealogy Roadshow can also be watched online anytime.

KLRU Q Feb. 24
8 pm: Life on Fire Ash Runner
9 pm: Life on Fire Pioneers of the Deep
10 pm: Mineral Explorers Brazil
10:29 pm: Mineral Explorers Mexico
10:50 pm: Beyond Geek WW2 Re-enactors
11:28 pm: Beyond Geek Real Superheroes
11:58 pm: Doctor Who A Town Called Mercy
12:45 am: Doctor Who The Power of Three

Highlights February 22 – 28

KLRU Highlights

It’s semi-finals time and the tension is palpable as the bakers take on patisseries on Great British Baking Show at 7 pm.

London brings the Crawleys and their servants scandal, sabotage, and a Scotland Yard stunner. Mrs. Patmore gets a surprise, and Robert has a revelation on season 5, episode 8 of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theater at 8 pm on Sunday.

Don’t miss the season finale of Grantchester on Masterpiece Mystery! Sunday at 9 pm.

Independent Lens American Denial uses the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today. Airs Monday at 9 pm.

In Newark, New Jersey, where the average high school graduation rate is abysmal, St. Benedict’s Prep is the exception – with a near 100 percent college acceptance rate. The Rule, on Monday at 10 pm, investigates how the Benedictine Monks of Newark Abbey achieve success among a vulnerable population of inner-city African-American and Latino teenage boys.

Italian Americans, on Tuesday at 7 pm, traces the evolution of Italian Americans from the late 19th century to today. This series peels away myths and stereotypes to reveal a world uniquely Italian and uniquely American. Italian Americans at 9 pm Tuesday looks at Italian Americans’ contributions to society from 1945 to present.

Ecologist Chris Morgan travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the work being done to save its population of wild orangutans, which is quickly dwindling due to deforestation on Nature at 7 pm on Wednesday.

For eight hundred years, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the largest enclosed building in the world; the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its dome with room to spare. How has it survived its location on one of the world’s most active seismic faults? NOVA explores the mysteries of this great structure at 8 pm on Wednesday.

Earth A New Wild explores humankind’s relationship with the Earth’s most important resource, water, at 9 pm on Wednesday.

Austin City Limits presents modern blues and soul with Gary Clark, Jr. and Alabama Shakes on Wednesday at 10 pm.

Overheard with Evan Smith features Mark Bittman, an opinion columnist and lead food writer for The New York Times. Airs Thursday at 7 pm.

Few things form the expectations for a work of art like its branding. Arts In Context profiles influential graphic designers Chris Bilheimer and Michael Sieben Thursday at 7:30 pm.

The Statler Brothers Farewell Concert documents the band’s final show in 2002 and celebrates one of country music’s most honored acts. Airs Thursday at 8 pm.

Multi-Grammy-nominated Dailey & Vincent, backed by their 10-piece band and a full orchestra, perform a dynamic selection of their original songs, Statler Brothers hits and patriotic tunes on Dailey & Vincent – Alive! at 9:30 pm on Thursday.

Great Performances on Friday at 8 pm features classic selections from the Great American Songbook, each handpicked by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

The Bee Gees: One Night Only features the group’s 1997 concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. One of the very few Bee Gees performances ever filmed, the music special showcases many of their greatest disco and pop hits, on Friday at 9:30 pm.

Central Texas Gardener at noon on Saturday shares top tomato tips – chomp into the sweetest tomatoes around with secrets for success.

Austin City Limits 2014 Hall of Fame Special features highlights from the inaugural ACL Hall of Fame presentation, including Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Guy and Double Trouble on Saturday at 7 pm.

Screening: Cancer The Emperor of All Maladies 3/25

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), Texas PBS and KLRU-TV Austin PBS, invite you to attend a special preview screening of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a forthcoming PBS documentary from executive producer Ken Burns.

DATE: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 
TIME: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: The Texas Capitol Extension Auditorium, 1100 Congress Avenue, Room E1.004, Austin, Texas 78711
RSVP: The event is free but an RSVP is required. RSVP now 

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective and a biographer’s passion. The series artfully weaves three different films in one: a riveting historical documentary; an engrossing and intimate vérité film; and a scientific and investigative report. The event will feature a half-hour segment from the six-hour documentary, along with a panel discussion of leading cancer experts from Texas.

The documentary will air on KLRU and PBS stations across the nation on March 30, 31 and April 1. Learn more about the film

American Graduate: AISD High Schools Get Creative in Teaching Core Classes

On Saturday during PBS NewsHour Weekend our KLRU News Brief takes a look at AISD’s Creative Learning InitiativeAISD has partnered with MindPOP, an association of art educators in Austin, to bring arts and culture into the classroom. It’s a grant-funded program out of The Kennedy Center. For our story we visited Crockett High School, which implemented CLI at the beginning of this academic year.

The grant was written by the school’s fine arts teachers to further integrate arts into the core curriculum. Dr. Robyn Turner, Assistant Principal at Crockett, says the program has been successful thus far, and faculty and staff are enthusiastically implementing the initiative into their curriculum.

“We’re not doing CLI to teach to the test at all but it just so happens that creativity, imagination, [and] working together cause the mind to internalize a lot of what maybe they would not have internalized before,” Turner told us.

These CLI activities occur twice a week. Teachers attend professional development workshops to learn how to integrate CLI into their daily lesson plans.

Shana King, a biology teacher, said the initiative is a way to teach kids on a “emotional level.”

“It doesn’t seem like ‘creative’ would go with Biology but it really does,” King said. “We have the kids trying to make their own ideas and making machines out of their bodies to act out some really complicated scientific processes.”

You can watch the story online in the video above.

On Sunday, our story comes from our partners at The Texas Tribune. Multimedia Reporter Alana Rocha looks at the debate around Texas’ Hazlewood Act, which offers Texas veterans free tuition. The program has seen costs grow exponentially in the last five years after allowing veterans to transfer unused credit hours to their children and it could could be in trouble this legislative session if lawmakers fail to address funding issues. The story is part of the Tribune’s State of Mind series. You can watch the story online here.

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour weekend, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6:30. Our Saturday story is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, which is aimed at increasing awareness around the dropout crisis in Central Texas. Do you have an American Graduate story idea? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at CivicSummit@klru.org, post a comment, or tweet at us using #amgradtx. 

Q Night At The Movies 2/14

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

This week on Q Night At The Movies, Variety Studio: Actors on Actors visits with stars Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Chastain and more, On Story discusses comedy with Larry Wilmore from The Daily Show, and Ain’t It Cool With Harry Knowles takes on the politics of the Academy Awards. Plus, don’t miss feature film Brodcast News, and two short films from NYU.

Variety Studio: Actors on Actors at 6:30 pm
An intimate conversation between some of the greatest actors working today. Featuring Mark Ruffalo “Foxcatcher” and Jessica Chastain “Interstellar”, Eddie Redmayne “The Theory of Everything” and Laura Dern “Wild”, Josh Brolin “Inherent Vice” and J.K. Simmons “Whiplash”, Kevin Costner “Black and White” and James Corden “Into the Woods”.

On Story at 7:30 pm
Larry Wilmore, the Senior Black Correspondent on The Daily Show and creator of The Bernie Mac Show reflects upon different forms of comedy, his own comic influences, and always looking to maximize comedic potential. Followed by two short films about courage and endurance: Chris Bourke and Kevin Harger’s LOVE, EMILY, and Andrea Gomez’s 036.

Feature film Broadcast News at 8 pm
A reporter (Albert Brooks), a producer (Holly Hunter) and an anchorman (William Hurt) form a triangle in a TV-network news bureau.

Ain’t It Cool With Harry Knowles at 10 pm
Author Ernest Cline, Ready Player One/Armada, joins Harry to discuss problems with the Academy Awards’ system as well as the joy of loving the Oscars. Harry further explores the politics of the Academy Awards and offers a retrospective of over 80 years of cinema, including the process of judging and awarding the “best” in the business.

Film School Shorts at 10:30 pm
The Hunter and the Swan Discuss their Meeting (NYU): A Brooklyn couple have dinner with a hunter and his girlfriend, a magical swan woman whose captured robe led to their courtship. The evening goes one direction – downhill. Written and directed by Emily Carmichael.
God of Love (NYU):2011 Oscar winner for Best Live Action Short, God of Love follows Raymond, an artist who combines singing with his champion dart-throwing ability to harness the power of love. Written and directed by Luke Matheny.

Science Night Feb. 18

Sculptors and archaeologists team up in an attempt to solve the mysteries of the lost city of Petra. Plus, a look at how owls’ keen senses work and an investigation of Earth’s oceans and the threats they face on the Feb. 18 Science Night.

Nature Owl Power at 7 p.m.

For centuries, owls have been fascinating hallmarks of children’s stories and folk tales the world over. What actually makes owls so special? Using the camera technology, computer graphics, x-rays and ultra-microscopes available in the modern world, take a new look at owls in more detail than ever before. The real stories behind how they hunt, how their vision and hearing work, and how they fly so silently are influencing 21st-century technology and design, from high-tech aircraft and submarines to innovative hearing aids.

NOVA Petra — Lost City Of Stone at 8 p.m.

More than two thousand years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants whose camel caravans transported incense and spices across hundreds of miles from the Arabian Gulf. They carved spectacular temple-tombs into its soaring cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple at its heart, and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains, and pools. But following a catastrophic earthquake and a slump in its desert trade routes, Petra’s unique culture faded and was lost to most of the world for nearly a thousand years. Now, in a daring experiment, an archaeologist and sculptors team up to carve an iconic temple-tomb to find out how the ancient people of Petra built their city of stone. And beyond Petra’s city of the dead, scientists using remote sensors and hydraulic flumes discover a city of the living-complete with a water system that not only supplied 30,000 people with enough to drink, but also filled bathhouses, fountains, and pools with such abundance that some scholars believe this desert metropolis may have been the Las Vegas of the ancient world. The race is on to discover how these nomads created this oasis of culture in one of the harshest climates on earth, and ultimately, why Petra disappeared.

Earth A New Wild Oceans at 9 p.m.

Starting on the most pristine reef on Earth, home to more predators than prey, Sanjayan draws on his own ocean experiences to reveal a vibrant community of scientists, engineers and fishermen who are providing solutions that can help restore the oceans in astonishing ways. He is aware of the vast scale of the threat to our oceans, but standing in the water playing midwife to a large lemon shark is just one of the moments that give him hope that we can turn around our influence on the most important habitat on Earth.