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).

Community Resources

100 Black Men of Austin
The mission of the 100 Black Men of Austin is to improve community life, strengthen educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans.

Allgo praises vibrant queer individuals of color communities here in Texas and beyond through our cultural arts, wellness, and social justice programming. The organization is a supporter of art and artistic expression and the wellness of others. Their mission is to build a just and equitable society.

Austin Alpha Foundation
AAF is a leadership development institute for African American males 8th-12th grade on July 30th 9-5 on UT campus. Their mission is to develop initiatives that benefit the Austin residents.

Austin Area Urban League Young Professionals
Committed to making Austin a place where young professionals of color can empower their community, change lives, and thrive both socially and professionally.

Austin Black Health and Wellness Coalition
Addressing health and wellness inequities in Austin.

Austin Black Newcomers Association
Promotes engagement and community service among African-American newcomers to Austin.

Austin Black Wall Street
Austin Black Wall Street is a community of black-owned businesses in the Austin and Central Texas area. ABWS also serves as a resource for advocacy and education within the Black community.

Austin Justice Coalition
Grassroots, activist-led organization addressing criminal justice reform at the local level, teaching students true black history on Saturdays.

Austin While Black
Austin While Black is a webseries sharing the stories of Black Austinites.

Be the Bridge to Racial Unity
Develops a curriculum to start racial conversations within the church.

Black Leadership Academy
Provides students a broader and more inclusive understanding of American history.

Black Pflugerville
Black Pflugerville brings stability to the people displaced out of East Austin, redoing the black cemetery.

Blacks in Tech
Supporting black people in the technology field.

Cartoons and Cereal
Introduces children to black and brown superheroes.

Claim Your Destiny Foundation
Brings in executives and mentors to teach children to become successful leaders.

Conversation Corps
Brings Austinites together in civic dialogue focused on public issues.

Excellence and Advancement Foundation
Coordinating prevention and intervention programs to support children that may be at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system.

Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper
Provides every newborn male of color a set of library books age 0-5.

Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce
Promotes development of African-American businesses.

No Place For Hate
Promotes coming together and working together in all AISD schools.

One Human Race
Creates a safe, open, and productive environment for everyone to participate in discussions about race.

Red Bench
Conversations between people of different backgrounds on the last Tuesday of each month.

Texas Gun Sense
Works to reduce gun violence by promoting effective gun laws through research and public awareness.

Undoing Racism Austin
Undoing Racism Austin is an organization raising awareness of racism in Austin and what to do about it.

Mobile application that identifies black owned businesses in your area.

Young Urban Art Meisters
Youth art program hosted every Tuesday at the Carver.

After Newtown: Mental health resources in Austin

As part of PBS’s After Newtown initiative, we asked our viewers how KLRU should respond to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. An overwhelming number of you wanted us to focus on access to mental health care. KLRU will also feature this video during Need To Know on Feb. 22.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is dedicated to education, early detection and advocacy for people who suffer from mental illness. According to the group’s numbers, “one in 10 children struggles with mental illness severe enough to cause significant impairment to their day-to-day lives,” and only half of those children receive treatment. NAMI aims to diagnose these cases early, by working with teachers and parents to teach them how to identify and deal with symptoms.

NAMI Austin President Adrienne Kennedy joined us in studio for a conversation about what her organization does, and what sorts of resources are available to people living in Central Texas.

NAMI is hosting a Capitol Day on February 28 at the Texas State Capitol. Lawmakers will speak, lunch will be served, and an afternoon rally will take place on the South Steps. You can find more information about Capitol Day on their website