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’s Work Impacted by New Every Student Succeeds Act

Today President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, the first major national education overhaul since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. KLRU’s Educational Services work is impacted in two specific ways by the passage of this law.

First, the ESSA Act includes funding for Ready to Learn, the PBS Kids endeavor which leads to the production of high-quality educational shows, apps, online games, and additional resources, and which includes funds for KLRU and 10 other stations nationwide to pilot implementation and distribution of these assets.

Second, one of the new features of the ESSA is that high schools must use graduation rates as one of several measures of progress. KLRU is a participant in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative, and as such, we have been working over the last two years to assemble a body of knowledge and resources about how to enable more students to stay in school and graduate, especially in those schools and among demographic groups with chronically high dropout rates.

In fact, tonight at 5:30 pm, KLRU is taping a student town hall, in which we have gathered well over 100 middle and high school youth for a televised forum on their perspectives on key issues – what challenges do they face on the road toward high school graduation, what resources have they found meaningful, and where do we adults continue to miss opportunities to support them in their journeys? You can RSVP for this event here. Plan to watch Stop The Drop: Engaging Students In Their Futures on December 17 at 9pm.

Stop the Drop

www.klru.org/americangraduate

KLRU receives grant to implement early learning partnerships

CPB and PBS Receive Ready To Learn Grant From the U.S. Department of Education; Project Includes Community-based Activities in Central Texas Through KLRU-TV, Austin PBS

CPB and PBS to Develop and Distribute Science and Literacy Content to Help Prepare Children for School; KLRU to Implement Early Learning Partnerships Locally to Support Low-income Families

Austin, TX, September 10, 2015 – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS have received a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. The grant will provide $19 million in year one of a five-year grant to fund CPB and PBS’ innovative science and literacy media initiative to support the learning needs of children in low-income communities. The grant will provide resources to 11 PBS stations, including KLRU, to implement local partnerships in underserved communities in Central Texas.

“KLRU is honored to be a part of CPB and PBS’ Ready To Learn-funded project,” said Bill Stotesbery, CEO of KLRU. “This grant will help KLRU continue to serve Central Texas-area families with high-quality early learning content and services to set them on the path for a successful future.”

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Flores Education & Training Center Grand Opening

KLRU Demonstration Station

KLRU joined the Boys & Girls Club (B&GC) of Austin on Nov. 21 to help celebrate the grand opening of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) Flores Education & Training Center at the Meadowbrook Apartments. HACA and B&GC will make this our fifth and final partner for the Ready To Learn Demonstration Station grant.

HUD Secretary, Julian Castro, spoke and cut the ribbon on the new center. The center features classrooms for youth and adult education programs, a community library, an outdoor amphitheater, computer lab, outdoor green spaces, a video and sound production lab and more.

Castro and Clifford

KLRU is proud to partner with the Boys & Girls Club and HACA, thanks to this Ready To Learn (RTL) Initiative, a partnership of PBS, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, to provide rich, educational multimedia content to this community’s children and their families!

Congratulations to the Méndez family for winning the Thomas the Train door prize!

Mendez Family with Thomas the Train door prize

KLRU Selected to Support Early Learning with New Digital Content

KLRU and four other public television stations will train teachers and families to use educational content developed through the Ready To Learn Initiative

KLRU is one of five stations partnering with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS KIDS to provide educational multimedia content to low-income communities.  The station will receive $109,318 from CPB to test the effectiveness of digital content developed through Ready To Learn (RTL), a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, to test the effectiveness of digital content developed through the program in supporting the development of early math and literacy skills for children ages 2-8 in low-income families.

Over the next year, KLRU will provide RTL content and resources at two sites in the community: SafePlace, which provides residential services to victims of family violence, and Foundation Communities, which offers housing and family-centered educational services to low-income families. The station will train highly qualified educators/education service providers to use RTL content so they can support the children and families who use the facilities at SafePlace and Foundation Communities. Through family-focused community events, KLRU will also demonstrate RTL to other community educators/education service providers, children, and parents/caregivers in the Austin area.

“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has set the standard for investment in the future of our young learners,” said Bill Stotesbery, KLRU CEO and General Manager. “Through initiatives such as this CPB is continuing its leadership into the digital world, and KLRU is proud to be at the forefront of this technology. We’re excited to get to partner with SafePlace and Foundation Communities but also to provide these tools for learning to our entire community.”

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Nelson Puett Foundation Supports KLRU

The Nelson Puett Foundation has just granted KLRU $20,000 to support the Inspiration Fund and Friends of Austin City Limits.

The Inspiration Fund is a mechanism to sustain comprehensive services at our station: local productions, outreach and education activities including Ready To Learn, Community Screenings, Community Cinema, Spark at The Moody Theater:  KLRU’s Engaging Speaker Series, and more.  Each of these elements frames KLRU as a trusted window to the world with universal access to educational and creative content in and beyond Austin.

Austin City Limits has presented audiences with the most diverse, original, cutting-edge talent that music has to offer for more than three decades. ACL airs nationally on 97% of the country’s PBS stations.  In addition, select episodes are available to view online.

The Foundation’s investment in our mission will help bring pioneering programs, authentic engagement and meaningful acquisitions to the citizens of Central Texas.  On behalf of all who will benefit, thank you!

KLRU receives Dell Foundation grant for early education initiatives

KLRU is the proud recipient of a Dell Foundation Equipping Youth Literate Communities grant. This two-year, $50,000 contribution will serve to empower youth to learn and excel in a digitally-driven economy — specifically, through support of Sesame Street and our Ready to Learn literacy program. We are grateful for the Dell Foundation’s generous and ongoing support of early education in Central Texas.