KLRU congratulates Westlake HS Teacher Natalie Cannon!

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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!

American Graduate Champion: SaulPaul

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

saul-paulToday’s Champion is SaulPaul. A “Musician with a Message,” SaulPaul works as  a mentor and speaker encouraging youth to pursue “education not incarceration.”  He has taken his history with incarceration and has transformed his life into one that  connects with at-risk youth in a way that only a few can. He has volunteers at treatment facilities to help encourage and uplift youth on probation to believe in something better. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: ”SaulPaul brings hope and direction to young people using his own story and creative talents as inspiration. At TEDxYouth@Austin, in the spirit of ideas worth spreading, SaulPaul presented “Re:Start Your Life” to high school students. “Using his tasteful rhymes and freestyle raps, SaulPaul incorporates his unique style with his guitar and loop pedal; his powerful voice and brings his inspiring message to the world.” SaulPaul’s music allows him to capture the attention of diverse crowds to deliver a relevant message through the example of his own life story. From transitioning middle and high school students in metro Atlanta to a district in the backwoods of Little Rock, AR, SaulPaul’s music is influential. Touching the hearts and minds of students through live performances at home and abroad, there is social good in SaulPaul’s message. In classrooms, at professional conferences, or as a youth mentor, SaulPaul encourages positive decisions for positive results; using his story as evidence.

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

 

Overheard with Evan Smith guests talk 2016

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We love politics at Overheard with Evan Smith and a lot of our guests do, too. This season, as always, we’ve interviewed politicians, political operatives, writers, and journalists and one topic always comes up: the 2016 presidential race.

Watch the playlist below to hear from former Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Bernie Sanders, conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, Bob Woodward, political strategist and Obama adviser David Axelrod, and Mary Matalin and James Carville as they analyze the field of potential candidates. Senator Sanders is considering running for president against newly-announced presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

All of our Overheard tapings are free and open to the public. Our next taping is this Friday, April 17 at 5pm with Cokie Roberts. You can sign up here for our email evite which will notify you every time we announce a taping. You watch our full archive of past episodes online anytime here.

American Graduate Champion: Joseph Baird

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

joseph-bairdToday’s Champion is Joseph Baird. Baird is the Mariachi Director at Lehman High School. In his first year as the director, he has increased the musicianship of the program, and given these kids something to be very proud of. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Not all school districts have a Mariachi Program in their music department, so those of us in HCISD are very lucky to have the opportunity to join such an organization. The Mariachi groups have fun, compete, and truly represent their schools with pride.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

Bill Arhos, 1934-2015

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LONGTIME KLRU STATION EXECUTIVE AND
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FOUNDER
BILL ARHOS DIES

November 3, 1934 – April 11, 2015

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and the family of Bill Arhos are sad to announce the passing of the longtime station executive, who most regard as the father of Austin City Limits. Arhos died Saturday, April 11th, at the age of 80. His life’s work was devoted to KLRU, public media and music. He served in many positions during his nearly 40-year career at KLRU, joining in 1961 to help launch the public television station. Over the years, Arhos served as Producer, Program Director, Vice President of Programming, Executive Producer of Austin City Limits (1975-1999), and President/General Manager from 1986 until his retirement in 1999.  He also served on the boards of PBS and the Country Music Association.  Arhos was a proud graduate of Rice University, graduating in 1957. Rice honored Arhos in 2007 with the Association of Rice Alumni’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Arhos will always be remembered best for his vision and passion that drove Austin City Limits to become the longest-running music series in American television history.   In 1974, KLRU (then KLRN) hatched the idea to create a music performance show. The pilot was shot on October 14, 1974, starring up and coming singer-songwriter Willie Nelson and the rest is history.

“I’ve never met anyone like Bill Arhos,” says ACL Executive Producer and longtime colleague Terry Lickona. “He was a real character, known and loved not just in Austin but throughout the PBS system. The idea for Austin City Limits was not just his alone, but he brought it to life, and he kept the show going and growing through some difficult times. Whether they know it or not, millions of music fans, artists and PBS viewers owe a debt to him for his enormous contribution to what’s become a cultural institution.”

Called the “spirit” of the show, Arhos was inducted into the Austin City Limits Inaugural Hall of Fame last year, honored for his vision, passion and dedication.  In accepting the award Arhos’ trademark wit was evident when he said: “It’s a little intimidating to be in a class of the first inductees, and three of the four have bronze statues around town.”

KLRU’s current general manager Bill Stotesbery says, “Bill Arhos was a legend in public media, respected for his creativity, energy, and persistence. From day one, he dedicated himself to building a station that was a national leader in production, and he set a standard that others seek to achieve.  He will be missed greatly.”

Arhos will be buried in a private ceremony at the Texas State Cemetery alongside other Texas legends. Details about his service and a celebration of his life will be forthcoming.

The family requests donations to the Bill Arhos Fund at KLRU in lieu of flowers.

American Graduate Champion: Remy-Brice Uwilingiyimana

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

remy_briceuwilingiyimanaToday’s Champion is Remy-Brice Uwilingiyimana. Uwilingiyimana is the Hot Spot Program Coordinator at Boys & Girls Club East. Known as the the pied piper, Remy’s association with the Boys & Girls Club began when he was an AmeriCorp volunteer with the ACE program at Oak Springs Elementary School. Remy is gentle, kind, respectful and when it comes to having the kids get some work done or follow through on an activity. The kids respond to him and look up to him — he’s an older brother, mentor, counselor and friend. Remy is responsible for running the technology program “Hot Spot” for the East Club and to assist with other Hot Spot locations by training staff and helping determine curriculum. He’s always open to new ideas, works hard and loves what he does. He touches many lives through his work, dedication and the respect and love he unselfishly shows the children in the Boys & Girls Clubs. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “It’s so refreshing to be around a young man of color who is so dedicated to young children. These children need a role model in their lives since many come from broken families, with no positive male figure in their lives. Remy’s story might inspire other young men to share their expertise in helping the at-risk youth in our community.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Sterling McGruder

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

sterling_mcgruder1Today’s Champion is Sterling McGruder. McGruder is the principal at Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy and works with middle school students, staff, and parents. His students admire the leadership he presents. The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “Others would benefit from knowing this because we at Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy are getting a first hand example of what a leader does and how a leader makes a difference. Mr. McGruder shows leadership throughout the day and beyond.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

News Briefs: McCallum Named GRAMMY Signature School, Taxes and Tuition Debated at State Capitol

“We actually didn’t believe we were number one until later in the evening and we started googling things,” said Carol Nelson, Director of Bands at McCallum High School.

McCallum has been named the 2015 National GRAMMY Signature School by the GRAMMY Foundation, a distinction given to the school considered to have the best high school music education program in the U.S.  The award comes with a $5,000 gift. The GRAMMY Foundation creates opportunities for high school students to work with music professionals to get real-world experience and advice about how to make a career in music.

We attended the orchestra and band rehearsal this week at McCallum. You can see our story about their award in the video above and on Saturday during PBS NewsHour Weekend.

On Sunday during NewsHour, we’ll bring you the Political Roundup from The Texas Tribune. This week Multimedia Reporter Alana Rocha highlights a tax debate in the Texas House, and testimony in a Senate committee over whether or not to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students. You can see that story in the video below.

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend, every Saturday and Sunday evening at 6:30pm. 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 April 11

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

This week’s Q Night at the Movies delves into the minds behind complex characters that challenge notions of right and wrong. Plus, a compilation of some of the greatest moments in MGM’s most beloved musicals, and Harry Knowles contemplates the Academy Awards.

America in Primetime: The Crusader at 6:30 pm
Delve into the increasingly grey area between right and wrong as television heroes confront internal demons while seeking their own forms of justice. Interviews include Alan Alda (“M*A*S*H”); Steven Bochco and David Milch (“NYPD Blue”); Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”); Bob Cochran and Joel Surnow (“24″); Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”); Shawn Ryan and Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”); and David Shore and Hugh Laurie (“House”), among others.

On Story Heroes and Anti-Heroes at 7:30 pm
The voices behind The Devil Wears Prada, Bridesmaids, and Rachel Getting Married deliberate how the most impressionable characters – both good and evil – are compelling because of their flaws, complexities, and personal truths.

That’s Entertainment at 8 pm
Enjoy an unforgettable collection of sequences from MGM’s greatest musicals, including Anchors Aweigh, Babes in Arms, Singin’ in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz” and more. Astaire, Crosby, Kelly, Minnelli, Sinatra and Rooney host.

Ain’t It Cool With Harry Knowles Academy Awards Special at 10:15 pm
Author Ernest Cline 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.