Mrs. Pizzo's Workshop

WKAR Director of Education Robin Pizzo
Credit LWP

These are challenging times in Michigan for families with school-aged children at home and for educators.

WKAR is here for you, with trusted resources from PBS, PBS Kids, and WKAR Family.

I hope you'll follow this page for WKAR At-Home Learning updates, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and more.

For starters, here are some links I recommend:

Do you have a question that you'd like me to address here at Mrs. Pizzo's Workshop? Please send it to me at I can't guarantee I'll be able to respond to all questions, but I will do my best.

Stay well,

"Mrs. Pizzo"
Robin M. Pizzo, M.Ed.
Director of Education
WKAR Public Media

A: Hooray! Week of the Young Child® is celebrating 50 years. Joining the celebration recognizes young children and their families as precious members of the learning community. A celebration using laughter, literacy, movement, food, art and music is a great choice in reinforcing early learning success strategies.

A: The month of April is extra special as it’s recognized as Autism Awareness Month. WKAR and PBS KIDS programming feature several characters who have autism. 


Julia is a puppet character from Sesame Street who does things in her own special way.  Sesame Street producers have developed an autism initiative called, “See Amazing in All Children” as a positive reflection of children with autism spectrum disorder. 

A: Reading doesn’t have to stop when warm weather beckons. To keep children motivated, explore fun ways to take reading outdoors. 

A: Women are making history every day and in many ways. Unfortunately, this constant may deplete curiosity in learning about women history makers. A talk about Martians may excite learners with a renewed interest. 

A: Nothing can replace the warm cuddly feels of a good book or story time shared with a young learner. But when trying to raise a reader, all reading certainly does count.

Not only does it count but is critical in the development of a child’s concepts of print, text, information and purpose. These concepts are foundational skills that build toward reading proficiency.

A: Become a book influencer. Sharing your excitement around books can transform a small spark of interest into a buzz of electricity. 

3.48 billion people use social media around the world. Incredible, I know. Influencers use social media to create a buzz around specific topics or a distinct niche to connect with others. Creating a ‘book love buzz’ does not mean it’s necessary to access social media. However, understanding how influencers promote engagement might be key in fostering a continued interest in literature. 

A: Absolutely. Books that show the diversity of the world around us broaden the impact and value of literacy. 

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, known as the “mother of multicultural children’s literature,” wrote “Shadow and Substance” as a framework to analyze literature for children of color. She is most famous for showing the powerful purpose that children’s books can serve as mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.  

A: Understanding why repetition and routine are important to a child’s development is one way to avoid the blues.


While children have been learning at home, parents have had to ramp up the number of times they repeat themselves when giving instructions and setting expectations. Parents have also found themselves creating and keeping new routines to ensure everyone is able to make it successfully through the day. This can cause a creative drag on spontaneity and whimsical engagement.  


A: My immediate response is, why not a Black History Month? However, as I reflect more deeply, I recognize many may not be aware of the developmental origins of Black History Month in American culture. And although my response is not meant to be a comprehensive record of its beginnings, it does lead to the importance of Black History Month in today’s society and for today’s children.  

A: Simply stated, active listeners are better learners. A tremendous amount of education is provided verbally. When a student is able to process verbal communication effectively, learning becomes more proficient.  


To support listening skill development, try activities that focus primarily on listening without a visual component.