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Back to School with WKAR Education

Group under the WKAR tent at family event
Summer Godette
/
WKAR-MSU
Members of the WKAR education team and PBS Kids fans at Love The City Block Party in Lansing. 8/19/2021

The WKAR education team is here to help educators and families through the school year ahead with trusted multimedia educational content, virtual professional development experiences, and a safe return to in-person events.

The team is developing professional development experiences on a variety of topics, including social emotional learning, literacy, and use of the PBS Learning Media library of materials. The goal is to offer trusted multimedia educational content as an important tool to extend learning, both virtually and within the classroom, in a robust way.

"I love to help teachers find new excitement in digital tools for the classroom," said Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education. "My hope is that our team can show how valuable digital tools are in expanding and meeting the demands of the curriculum."

The education team is also connecting with families at in-person events held safely outside and hosted by WKAR community partners. At each event, the team offers free books and stickers, shares information about PBS Kids and the Michigan Learning Channel, and guides visitors through fun activities such as investigations from WKAR's Curious Crew television series.

"It’s my greatest joy to see young faces light up selecting a free book or completing a Curious Crew investigation," said Pizzo. "We also love hearing from caregivers and parents who offer feedback on what PBS Kids shows they enjoy viewing with their children. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Wild Kratts are always fan favorites."

Events in July included America’s Night Out at St. John’s City Park and Lansing School District’s Launch Your Dreams enrollment event at the Eastern High School football field. In August, the team provided free books at the Love the City Block Party hosted by Lansing Housing Commission and City Life Lansing and supported Ingham ISD in preschool enrollment at Hawk Island. The team will also be on the scene at Kendon Elementary’s First Day of School greeting event on August 30.

Summer Godette, WKAR’s Michigan Learning Channel engagement coordinator, has been busy sharing information and activities about the Michigan Learning Channel in preparation for the new school year. The Michigan Learning Channel is a statewide public television partnership offering instructional content to support the education of students and to provide alternative resources for families and teachers.

"I enjoyed collaborating with state educators to offer the Michigan Learning Channel’s curriculum-aligned and fun-focused eight weeks of summer programming," said Godette. "We recognized that many school districts were unable to provide summer school options for students, so we created programming to help fill the gap for families and educators who wanted to ensure their kids were ready for school in the fall."

Ahead this fall, the Michigan Learning Channel is producing new episodes of the channel's signature shows, Math Mights, Read, Write, Roar!, and Extra Credit, which are aligned to Michigan Department of Education curriculum standards.

The Michigan Learning Channel is also offering the "MLC Back to School" eight-week professional development program for educators and caregivers. The program runs from September 22 to November 10 and is free.

Visit Michigan Learning Channel to view the broadcast program schedule, sign up for free professional development sessions, or request a presentation for your team of educators.

Also follow Mrs. Pizzo's Workshop for Robin Pizzo's weekly blog, offering answers to frequently asked questions from parents and educators.

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