Sesame Street’s Everyday Heroes Club

“Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself. Forgive your anger. Forgive your guilt. Your shame. Your sadness. Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth, and most especially your heart.”  Jim Henson

With words like these from Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and developer of Sesame Street characters, it’s hardly surprising that Sesame Street’s new Everyday Heroes Club promotes acts of kindness.

You can learn more and find resources  Continue reading

Free Reading Party Kits for Families

To support family’s efforts to keep kids reading throughout the summer, WGBY is offering free reading party kits for families to host “I Can Readathon!” at-home events.  These kits — made available through participating retailers and a partnership with PBS KIDS and HarperCollins — include activity booklet, reading logs, activity pages, stickers, certificates, a PBS KIDS Super Summer activity chart, activity sheets and more.

Due to limited supplies, kits will given on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more information Continue reading

Walking in Nature & Changing our Brains

Is being outdoors part of your summer plan?  Many of us already know that a walk in the park or the woods can calm our minds.  Now, an article in the NY Times blog “Well,” How Walking in Nature Changes The Brain,” shares a recent study about nature’s effects on our brains and mental health.  The article’s intriguing look at nature and the brain, including differences in anxiety, depression and other mental illness for those living in and out of urban centers, just might motivate you to spend more time in nature’s green spaces.

PBS has long championed nature and the environment with programs and resources such as  Continue reading

PreK-12 Summer Resources to Share with Parents

While hardly news to educators, the HuffPost recently reported on a survey from the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) confirming that teachers spend a great deal of time reteaching content because of summer learning losses.  Until students attend school throughout the year, resources like This Egg in a Bottle Experiment from Maya, full-time kid from PBS Parents, is one of many summer resources to try and help stem learning loss:

To keep kids learning over the summer, Alabama Public Television (APT) has found PreK-12 resources — for mathematics, reading, science, digital citizenship and more — that you can share with parents.

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PEEP and The Big Wide Bilingual World — Tested & Approved

PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD is no longer so new, but it is just as endearing and effective as ever.  More than just an offbeat cartoon, it’s a broadcast and digital universe that teaches science and math to young kids — and it’s fully bilingual.  Parents can click the big “Espanol” icon in the corner of any page to expose their kids to these lovable characters talking about STEM concepts in Spanish. ¡Excelente!

A recent summative assessment with 400 families found that English and Spanish speaking children who used PEEP resources were significantly more likely to improve their knowledge of math and science content, increase their interest in Continue reading

413families Text Campaign — Sign Up & Win Gift Basket from Springfield City Library

Please help us spread the word to Springfield families — Those who opt into the 413families text campaign receive twice-weekly messages about cool family activities and events, early literacy tips, school messages, and health, fitness & attendance information.  As an incentive for families to join the growing number who are part of the campaign, the Springfield City Library has put together a great, book-filled gift basket, and one lucky person who joins by Friday, April 29, will be selected to win!

All someone has to do is Continue reading

Autism Resources from Sesame Street and Thomas & Friends

What better way to teach children — those with autism and those who need to understand autistic children — than with beloved PBS KIDS characters?  Dear Elmo of Sesame Street knows how to love everyone, and doesn’t love follow understanding?  This video clip reveals how Sesame fans can lovingly learn about autism.

An equally powerful resource is Thomas & Friends.  Not long ago WGBY staff learned at a Thomas & Friends event just how much an autistic boy loved Thomas & Friends and how his teachers were using Thomas & Friends resources to motivate him to learn.

You can find PBS resources on autism for teachers and parents.  Continue reading

It Takes a Village — STEM Exchange with Design Squad Global


Perhaps, like me, you’d never head of SOS Children’s Village schools like this one in Mbabane, Swaziland, where children design a waste bin to reduce litter around their school.  SOS Children’s Villages is a global organization to help orphaned and abandoned children, more than 80,000 boys and girls in over 540 villages in 133 countries, including here in the United States.

PBS KIDS’ Design Squad Global — a 10 month after school program/club — connects 8-13 year olds in the U. S. with those in Swaziland, Botswana, and southern Africa.  You can learn more about this exchange and find Design Squad online resources Continue reading

Michelle Obama Invitation to The 5th Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

Young New England cooks may have a special advantage when they submit their recipes to the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge since a regional focus, using locally grown items, will be extra special.  We hope you’ll share Michelle Obama’s invitation to the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge with kids ages 8-12.  In collaboration with a parent or guardian, they can create an original lunch recipe that’s healthy, affordable, and tasty.  As they follow the Challenge’s guidelines, kids can learn habits for a lifetime of healthy eating AND have a chance to win a trip to Washington, DC to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House.

You can learn more about how students can become winning chefs and serve as healthy food ambassadors for their state plus find great classroom resources on food and nutrition.  Just

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Dr. Seuss Day — Happy Birthday to Theodor Seuss Geisel!

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Dr. Seuss

I love how this quotation reminds us how to see and treat children.  But it is hard to limit oneself to just one line from Dr. Seuss.  Another of his quotations — “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.” — can be among the many reasons to celebrate Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday 112 years after his birth, right here in Springfield MA.

PBS KIDS recognizes the genius of Dr. Seuss, whose inspirations continue to delight and teach children.  (Another Dr. Seuss quotation:  “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”)  In addition to his books,  PBS KIDS offers many resources Continue reading