Thanks & Congratulations to WGBY’s General Manager As He Retires

When January 1 rings in the New Year, Rus Peotter will no longer be spending his days and frequently nights as WGBY’s General Manager.  As Rus steps down after 15+ years of service, we’re fortunate to be the benefactors of his education legacy.  We also hope to continue benefiting from his expertise, wisdom and passion for public media’s power to educate, enrich lives and improve communities — essential elements of WGBY’s Mission.

With enthusiasm and commitment, Rus has been a friend to educators, children and families in our region. He’s served on numerous committees for early childhood education, been responsible for programs such as As Schools Match Wits and the Latino Youth Media Institute (LYMI), and shown strong support for Ready to Learn Initiatives and PBS LearningMedia.  These are just some examples of how Rus has led WGBY in its efforts to make a difference in young people’s lives.

Personally, I’m grateful to have served at WGBY during part of  Rus’s tenure as General Manager, always finding his door open and his energy focused on serving the needs of our community.  We thank him for his service and wish him and his family well as he moves on.

To see coverage of Continue reading

#413Reads Looking for Photos — Share with Families their Chance to Win a $50 Pride Gift Card

Please spread the word — The #413Reads Campaign with Pride Stores wants to give families an opportunity to win a $50 Pride gift card when they submit a photo of family members reading together.  With families especially busy at this time of year, there’s a good chance for someone who submits a photo to win.

Taking just a few steps, families can share their photo, favorite book and time to read:  Continue reading

Gwen Ifill, Graduate of Springfield Classical High School

As oftewwslideshowgwenaschildn happens with the death of a loved one, old photos are taken out and studied.  This one of Gwen Ifill shows her as a child, wearing the smile that would bring warmth to her keen-eyed reporting.

Growing up, she lived with her family in various places, including Massachusetts, as her pastor father took on various assignments.  While PBS can take pride that Ifill was one of its own, our region can also take pride in knowing that she graduated from former Classical High School in Springfield.

A 2013 MassLive article, Continue reading

Civil Discourse in Elections and in Our Classrooms

An article in last month’s NY Times, “Teaching Seventh Graders in a ‘Total Mess’ of an Election Season,” is still relevant even as the election season officially ends today.  In fact, one of the benefits of this challenging election cycle can be the examples it provides about the harmful effect of words and attitudes to our environment.

While the disturbing, even dangerous tenor set by a presidential candidate is beyond the control of the classroom teacher, teaching the importance of dignity and respect in an election and in the classroom is very much a teacher’s responsibility.  The tone maintained in the classroom, strongly influenced by teachers’ respect for students — even for the most difficult students — and the resources s/he chooses, sets a powerful example.  In fact, a setting infused with respect can help to diffuse disruptive attitudes and behaviors.

So, yes, it’s important to teach about this election cycle even as it becomes history, using appropriate examples that encourage thoughtful conversation about Continue reading

Our Appreciation and Invitation

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKJAAAAJDgzMzBlMTllLTBmZTItNGY1MS1hNjhkLWI1ZTAyM2Q2MjhkNAFor the grit and love you’ve shown as a teacher and learner this school year, we thank you.  As you move into summer, we invite you to make these posts part of your summertime reading.  WGBY’s Education Blog will continue to update you on teacher, student and family resources.  We’ll also strive to engage your curiosity and support your teaching practice with TED talks, professional development opportunities, the current state of education and more.

So whatever your summertime roles, we hope you’ll follow our blog and on-air programming as you rest, recharge and explore.

 

 

Being Bilingual Can Yield Superior Social Skills

PBS KIDS Oh Noah is designed to teach Spanish to children ages six to eight through animated videos with embedded games that help build vocabulary.  While many of us can intrinsically appreciate the benefits of bilingualism, an article last month in the NY Times blog Well, entitled “The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals,” went beyond looking at some of the obvious advantages of being bilingual, such as being able to experience more diverse conversations and experiences.

The article referenced two recent studies that “demonstrate that multilingual exposure improves not only children’s cognitive skills but also their social abilities.”  Resources for bilingual education Continue reading

Seasons Greetings & A Little Treat From PBS

As we reflect on the season and anticipate a brand New Year, WGBY’s Community Engagement and Education Department is grateful for the chance to make an impact on communities in our region.

This blog is one way we’re able to reach out to you every weekday with inspiring WGBY/PBS resources that support lifelong learning.

We send you warm wishes for the holiday season and think you’ll enjoy this Continue reading

Beloved PBS KIDS Character Helps Kids Instruct Parents on Distracted Driving

On any given day across America, approximately 660,000 drivers use cell phones or manipulate electronic devices.  Nationwide, more than 1,300 people are injured every day on the nation’s highways as a result of a distracted driving crash.  Who better to lead a first-of-its-kind project to turn the tide on texting and driving — “Game Over: Empowering Kids to Prevent Distracted Driving” — than Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius, who has generated 40 million video streams since its launch last year and won a Parent’s Choice Gold Award?

The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program and WGBH created this initiative to encourage kids to become better passengers and to play an active role in helping parents keep their eyes on the road.  In addition to the resources shown in this video, you’ll find Continue reading

TED Talk: Be Inspired and Humbled by Afghani Teacher

While your days can start early and end late — and perhaps because they do — you need to hear stories of others who face difficulty with bravery and even humor.  (You might even listen to this 17-minute talk as you get ready for school in the morning.)

Sakena Yocoobi tells her story with humility, subtle humor, and conviction.  Even though she was able to leave Afghanistan, get an education and become a professor in the U. S., and bring her family here, she was not satisfied.  She returned to her native land and, as founder and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, now provides teacher training to Afghan women as well as education for girls and boys throughout the country.

Continue reading