KLRU hosts National PBS KIDS Ready to Learn Advisors Meeting

On February 2 and 3, 2017, KLRU hosted the Ready to Learn National Advisors Meeting.  The annual meeting is typically held in Washington D.C.; this was their first-ever relocation to a community implementing Ready to Learn-funded activities.  Over 50 advisors from higher education, media production, and public-serving agencies gathered to provide direction to the project, in order to discuss the content and curriculum being produced, its dissemination to communities in need, and to give input on how to best evaluate the project’s efficacy.

Ready to Learn Advisors in a panel discussion on the original Austin City Limits stage. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Kids are leading the Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media project, funded by the Department of Education.  The five year grant ( 2015 – 2020) calls upon up to 40 PBS stations from all over the nation and their local community organizations to disseminate scientific inquiry and literacy content to low-income children ages 2 – 8 years old.

KLRU was one of the 11 pilot stations invited to test new resources in the field.  We partner with Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin area.

From Left to Right: Ben Kramer, VP of Education at KLRU; Erica Gallardo-Taft, Vice President of Program Services at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area; Eric Metcalf, Chief of Program Strategy at Communities In Schools of Central Texas; Robin Gose, Director of Education at Thinkery

Among other initiatives, we have held Odd Squad Summer Math Camps and Family Creative Learning (FCL) workshops at partner sites. At the FCL workshops, we guided parents to actively engage in their child’s learning using the free PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. app, which allows them to animate their favorite PBS characters.

In summer 2017, KLRU will pilot Odd Squad Summer Science Camp in which kids will solve problems to become Odd Squad agents.  Another project coming down the pipeline is a new collection of Ruff Ruffman science materials.

Thank you to Thinkery for hosting one day of the workshop and to the city of Austin for wowing the Ready to Learn Advisory group. We hope that they will return in 2018.

Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media is funded by the US Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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.

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