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To celebrate this year’s 100th Day of School, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, hosted a Peg + Cat-themed special event at Uphaus EC Center, Perez Elementary and Widen Elementary on February 5 and February 10, 2014. Through this initiative, KLRU awarded each campus a media lab that included an assortment of educational materials, games, activities, a Kindle Fire to access PBS digital content on, and a PEG + CAT hop-scotch rug. The multimedia content includes video clips, digital and hands-on games and activities, and tools to connect home and school. These resources are available at pbskids.org/learn. In all, over 355 children and 32 adults participated.

These three Dove Springs public school campuses were selected in part because the Onion Creek floods of this winter had affected them and their families. Each campus dedicated time in the library and in the classroom for their 1st grade or Kindergarten classes to rotate through a series of centers themed around the number 100 — jumping 100 times using hula hoops, making bracelets by counting beads by groups of 10, playing a Peg + Cat pizza game, playing the Peg + Cat app, watch Peg + Cat video clips. Each child was also able to share with their family more fun activities by taking home the Peg + Cat activity sheet. All campuses were delighted with the 100th Day Celebration and plan on scheduling it again next school year!

Este año para el Centésimo Día Escolar, KLRU-TV celebro con el Centro de Uphaus, Perez Elementary, y Widen Elementary este pasado 5 y 10 de febrero. A través de este iniciativo, las escuelas participantes recibieron materiales educativos incluyendo juegos, actividades, un Kindle Fire con acceso a recursos digitales de PBS, y una alfombra de la rayuela. Los recursos digitales incluyeron videos, juegos digitales, y otras actividades para conectar el enseñamiento de matemáticas entre el salón y en casa. Estos recursos están disponibles en pbskids.org/learn. Al final se contaron mas de 355 estudiantes y 32 adultos que participaron.

Estas escuelas en el vecindario de Dove Springs fueron seleccionadas en parte por las inundaciones de Onion Creek, que afectaron a los estudiantes y a sus familias. Cada escuela dedico tiempo en la biblioteca y en el salón para los estudiantes del kínder y primer año. Los estudiantes participaron en actividades sobre el numero 100 – brincando 100 veces, construyendo una pulsera de abalorios y contando por 10, participando en un juego de Peg + Cat, usando la aplicación de Peg + Cat para iPad, viendo unos episodios de Peg + Cat, y leyendo juntos. Cada estudiante también se llevo información para seguir aprendiendo sobre el numero 100 con su familia en casa. Las escuelas disfrutaron del Centésimo Día Escolar y planean a celebrar de nuevo al próximo año!

KLRU and PBS Kids at the Texas Book Festival!

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KLRU Educational Services will be on hand for two events connected to the Texas Book Festival. The first, a joint presentation by the Texas Book Festival, KLRU, and the AISD Department of Communications and Community Engagement is a book reading and signing by the bilingual children’s author Yuyi Morales, who was profiled by PBS and regularly has a spot airing during the PBS Kids block (which you can see here). The book signing will take place at Mathews Elementary, 906 West Lynn, on Friday, October 25, from 4-5 pm.

The second event will be our three-hour appearance at the Texas Book Festival itself, on Sunday, October 27, from 12 noon – 3 pm. We will be at the Children’s Activity Tent (on Colorado St. between 12th & 13th) with our iPads loaded with learning apps and with none other than Clifford the Big Red Dog.

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KLRU’s new Kids lineup begins October 7!

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Download a pdf of the Fall 2013 schedule

KLRU wishes to announce the following changes to the 6:30 am – 5:30 pm (M-F) program lineup:

1. The new series Peg+Cat, an adorable show on early mathematical thinking, will run M-F from 9-9:30 am.

2. In response to popular demand, Sesame Street will now air twice daily, once from 7-8 am, and once from 2-3 pm.

3. Thomas & Friends will now air daily M-F from 11:30 am – noon with lots of new episodes.

4. Signing Time moves to noon – 12:30 pm.

5. From 12:30 – 1 pm, we have different programs each day: Monday is WordWorld, Tuesday is Bob the Builder, Wednesday is Angelina Ballerina, Thursday is Peep and the Big Wide World, and Friday is a new show, Bali.

Now, what gets lost in these changes? Because we have no new episodes for Maya & Miguel or for Barney, and because of a slowdown of production for Electric Company, we have currently dropped them from the daily lineup. We especially feel the loss of Electric Company because it’s popular for older kids, so we are hoping that we can build up a bank of new episodes for airing later in the school year. In the meantime, all of these shows can be accessed online.

If you have questions or comments on the new lineup, please contact Benjamin Kramer, Director of Educational Services. We hope you enjoy these changes!

KLRU Launches Smart Screen Time Initiative For Summer

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KLRU announced a Smart Screen Time / La Pantalla Inteligente Initiative to connect Central Texas families and kids to PBS content, videos, games and apps and to use them to explore the world beyond the screen.  “We know that as school ends more and more kids are going to be watching television, playing games on tablets and using their parents’ phones to play apps,” said Ben Kramer, VP Educational Services at KLRU,“ and we want to encourage families to be smart about their choices.”

Smart Screen Time is about finding good content, using it in smart ways, and knowing when to turn off devices. KLRU has developed five guidelines for parents and caregivers to follow when watching a television show or playing online with their kids.  They are:

  • Knowing the difference between “smart time” and “silly time.”
  • When the brain slows down, turn the screen off.
  • Talk throughout the day with your children.
  • Watch and play on screens together.
  • Read at home every day.
    Get more details about each of these guidelines

To combat the summer learning loss KLRU will be offering 11 hours of uninterrupted non-commercial children’s programs each weekday as well as launching klrukrids.org.  www.klrukids.org connects learners of all ages 2 and up to a plethora of curriculum-based video, games and apps that teach math, literacy, and more.   These resources in both English and Spanish, will allow kids to have Smart Screen Time while also having fun.  All of the activities featured on klrukids.org embody the PBS Kids spirit that “anytime is learning time” and “learning can be fun.”

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Smart Screen Time / La Pantalla Inteligente™

Download a printable version of this guide (pdf): Smart Screen Time™ | La Pantalla Inteligente

Read in English | Español

With the proliferation of screen-based activities available for and embraced by youth, KLRU Educational Services has developed a set of guidelines for digital media use called “Smart Screen Time / La Pantalla Inteligente™.” In addition to offering quality educational media, KLRU Educational Services staff believe that explicit guidelines for how to use these media has never been more needed – for parents, caretakers, educators, and the children themselves. The guidelines have been incorporated into all of KLRU Educational Services’ messaging and are now appearing on-air and online in a series of explanatory video clips. The guidelines are as follows, with the video clips to follow.

    1. Knowing “smart time” vs. “silly time” - Kids instinctively know when they are viewing or playing media that is cognitively stimulating, and media that is pure entertainment. We believe that there is a role for both in kids’ lives. Adults who provide access to digital media ought to have conversations about the appropriate balance of smart and silly with the children in their care, and help children monitor their own media habits.

    2. When the brain slows down, turn the screen off! - All viewers of digital media have experienced moments when they are neither asleep nor alert, but in some in-between “zombie” zone. For adults, this may be a reasonable break from a long day’s work. For kids, it’s a different matter because this time is neither truly restful, nor is it meaningfully engaging. In short, it’s lost time during a period of rapid brain growth and development. For that reason, it’s important for adults in kids’ lives to turn the screen off and send them to another activity (including sleep!). Kids can become self-monitors of their own zombie states,  and can learn alternatives to drooling in front of a screen.

    3. Talk throughout the day, including during screen time - Studies have shown that dialogue can enhance the learning outcomes of using educational digital media. Look no further than our own characters to see role models for our kids – our characters use sophisticated vocabulary, ask good questions, and seek solution pathways for desired information. In short, they are all “smart” chatterboxes! Adults can ask kids for narrative summaries of show episodes, or to describe strategies they are using to advance in games.

    4. Watch and play on screens together - This is corollary of guideline #3. Whereas dialogue about kids’ viewing or playing is great, an even stronger learning experience occurs when adults and kids engage together with educational media. KLRU Educational Services selects PBS evening programs each month for “Family Choice” viewing, when we encourage generations to sit, watch, and discuss together. This idea can be extended to our programming throughout the day, and to game-playing online and on mobile media. One caution: current research suggests that all screen time stop 90 minutes before a child’s bedtime. It appears that the blue/light white from LCD screens can signal the brain to wake up, making bedtime a more difficult proposition.

    5. Read both at home and at school – every day! As proud as we are of the educational quality of our media, KLRU Educational Services recognizes that reading remains the most efficient, effective method of acquiring new information, building vocabulary, and experiencing new worlds of learning. In fact, a good number of our programs and games explicitly steer children to reading experiences. Most children still need adults to bridge the gap from screen to text, and to help them locate appropriate reading materials. This cannot solely occur in school – children who practice literacy as a desired activity during out-of-school time have markedly better learning outcomes that endure throughout their lives (International Reading Association, 1998). We know our job is done when kids instinctively and enthusiastically turn from our media to books as a logical next step in their learning lives.

Read in English | Español

La Pantalla Inteligente™

Con la abundancia de pantallas utilizadas por nuestros jóvenes, KLRU Educational Services ha desarrollado un conjunto de reglas sobre el medio digital llamado “La Pantalla Inteligente.” Además de ofrecer un medio educacional de gran calidad, el personal de KLRU Educational Services cree se necesitan estas reglas para padres, cuidadores, educadores, y los mismos niños sobre el uso de estos medios.

1. Tiempo listo versus Tiempo bobo – Desde una edad muy joven, los niños saben cuando están mirando un programa o jugando un juego que les ayuda a aprender o que es puro entretenimiento. Nosostros creemos que hay un rol para los dos en la vida de los jóvenes. Los adultos que les proveen aceso a media digital a los niños deberían charlar con ellos sobre un balanceo apropriado de “listo” y “bobo,” y ayudar a los niños a reconocer sus propios hábitos y ajustarlos si es necesario.

2. ¡Cuando se apaga el cerebro, se apaga la pantalla! – Para los adultos al mirar la tele puede ser un momento razonable para un descanso después de un largo día de trabajo. Pero para los niños puede ser una pérdida de tiempo. Es por eso que es importante que los adultos sugieran y animen a los niños a realizar otras actividades, incluyendo dormir, en lugar de babear frente a una pantalla por largos periodos.

3. Hablemos durante el día, incluyendo los tiempos de pantalla – Estudios han demostrado que el diálogo mejora los resultados de los medios digitales educacionales. Los personajes que estrellan en nuestros programas son modelos de compartimiento para nuestros niños. Estos personajes usan vocabulario sofisticado, hacen buenas preguntas, y buscan diferentes soluciones. ¡En resumen, todas son <<cotorros inteligentes>>! Los adultos pueden preguntar a los niños por breves resúmenes de los episodios que han visto, o que describan las estrategias que están utilizando para avanzar en un juego.

4. Miremos y juguemos juntos la pantalla – Aunque el diálogo sobre lo que los niños miran y juegan es bueno, la experiencia educacional puede ser aún más fuerte si los adultos y niños se vieran involucrados en medios educacionales. KLRU Educational Services selecciona programas nocturnos de PBS cada mes para momentos familiares donde los animamos a sentarse, mirar, y discutir juntos. Esta idea se extiende para toda nuestra programación durante el día, incluyendo juegos en línea y medios móvil.

5. Lee en casa y la escuela – ¡Todos los días! Aunque estamos orgullosos de la calidad educacional de nuestros medios, KLRU Educational Services reconoce que leer sigue siendo el método más efectivo de adquirir nueva información y vocabulario. De hecho un buen número de programas y juegos dirigen los niños explícitamente a leer. La mayoría de los niños aún necesitan que los adultos les ayuden a localizar materiales apropiados para leer. Esto no puede suceder solo en la escuela ya que los niños que practican el alfabetismo como una actividad deseada fuera de la escuela tienen mejores resultados de aprendizaje (International Reading Association, 1998). Cuando los niños pueden cambiar de los medios digitales a un libro como un paso lógico en sus vidas de aprendizaje, nuestro trabajo esta completo.

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Monkey around this Thanksgiving with Curious George


PBS KIDS is monkeying around this holiday season. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, 8 am to noon, KLRU will feature the broadcast premiere of the original Curious George movie, which will air as part of the Curious George Holiday Spectacular. A three-movie on-air event that is sure to be a new family tradition, the Holiday Spectacular kicks off with Curious George, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore and Dick Van Dyke, as well as the music of Jack Johnson, followed by Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey and Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas. The Curious George Holiday Spectacular will also air on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 6 am to 10 am.
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KLRU Kids at Explore UT 3/5

KLRU is opening up our studios on Saturday, March 5, from 11 am to 4 pm for children and their parents to explore their public television station. As part of Explore UT, KLRU will let the community see television equipment at work throughout the day and feature storytime with PBS KIDS host Miss Rosa at 11 am and 2 pm.

New KLRU Kids Lineup Starts Sept. 1

Starting on Wednesday, September 1, KLRU Kids daily lineup will change. In addition to some shows changing time slots, we’re adding an extra show on Saturday mornings making kids shows go from 5 to 10 a.m. And we’re very excited to be bringing you a brand new series from PBS called The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That.

Voiced by award-winning actor Martin Short, Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat guides friends Sally and Nick – with a little help from the Fish, Thing 1 and Thing 2 – on fun-filled adventures where they make natural-science discoveries, from how bees make honey to why owls sleep during the day. The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That will join the line up on Labor Day, Sept. 6.

Unfortunately we are also loosing one KLRU Kid favorite from the lineup. Since its premiere in 1999, Dragon Tales has helped build children’s social emotional skills, as well as supporting a music and cultural diversity curriculum. Production of new episodes concluded in the third season, in 2005. As broadcast and web rights are set to expire, PBS will no longer be able to show episodes of Dragon Tales or serve web video and game content after August 2010.

Here is the new KLRU Kids Lineup:

  • 5 Sesame Street (Sun) Mister Rogers (Sat)
  • 5:30 Bob the Builder (Sat)
  • 6 Curious George (Sun) Thomas and Friends (Sat)
  • 6:30 Cat in the Hat (Sun and Sat starts 9/4) Word World (Mon to Fri)
  • 7 Sesame Street
  • 8 Curious George
  • 8:30 Cat in the Hat (starts 9/6)
  • 9 Super Why (Mon to Sat)
  • 9:30 Dinosaur Train (Mon to Fri) Biscuit Brothers (Sat)
  • 10 Sid the Science Kid (Mon to Fri)
  • 10:30 Word World (Mon to Fri)
  • 11 Clifford (Mon to Fri), Mama Mirabella (Mon ending 8/30)
  • 11:30 Barney & Friends (Mon to Fri) Dragon Tales (Mon to Fri ending 8/27 see note above for more details)
  • noon Thomas and Friends (Mon) Bob the Builder (Tue) Angelina Ballerina (Wed) Franny’s Feet (Thur) Mister Rogers (Fri)
  • 12:30 Between the Lions (Mon to Fri)
  • 1 A Place of Our Own (Mon to Fri)
  • 1:30 Los Niños En Su Casa (Mon to Fri)
  • 2 Maya & Miguel (Mon to Fri)
  • 2:30 Martha Speaks (Mon to Fri)
  • 3 Arthur (Mon to Fri)
  • 3:30 Word Girl (Mon to Fri) Saddle Club (Fri until 9/17)
  • 4 Electric Company (Mon to Fri)
  • 4:30 Fetch (Mon to Fri) SciGirls (Tue, Thur ending 8/31)
  • 5 Dragonfly TV (Mon) Cyberchase (Tue to Thur) Biz Kid$ (Fri)