WGBY Feature: “Divided We Stand: A Street in Our School”

Gerena_225x173WGBY announces the launch of “Divided We Stand: A Street in Our School,” a special Connecting Point series that will present various sides of one of the area’s longtime community issues: the tunnel beneath I-91 that runs through the Germán Gerena Community School in Springfield’s North End.

Built in 1973, the school currently serves 700 children.  Because of the building’s close proximity to I-91, a tunnel was built on the lower level of the school so that students and members of the larger community, divided once the interstate was constructed, could safely walk from one side of their neighborhood to the other. Over time, “the tunnel,” as residents refer to it, became more than a passageway linking Plainfield and Main Streets. It became a pathway providing access to varied community services. A generation came to depend on the organizations that filled space within the tunnel itself.

Yet, due largely to extensive flooding and structural damage, time has changed this once vibrant space. Community spaces now stand empty.As residents and city leaders discuss their vision for the Gerena School and tunnel, WGBY explores its past and present. Viewers will learn just how much happens in this place they don’t see.

For the first time, WGBY will provide Spanish subtitles for the series of segments, airing periodically between March and May. The series’ first segment, available online, included a discussion about the school and the status of repairs to the tunnel with Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno and School Superintendent Daniel Warwick.

Future air dates are as follows: March 27, April 24, April 30 & May 20-22.

WGBY invites viewer feedback and especially encourages people who live near Gerena, largely members of the city’s Latino community, to contribute memories, stories or opinions throughout the series’ run.

World of Water half day Teachers’ Conference – April 5

fabienJoin WGBY and Wilbraham & Munson Academy for a special half-day conference aimed at the professional development of teachers and professors in the area. Learn how to incorporate water and economics into your classroom.  A keynote lecture will be delivered by Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau.

When: Friday, April 5, 2013  •  8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Where: Athletic Center  •  Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Cost: $20 Admission (includes lunch)

Participating teachers will receive 10 PDPs for participation with completion of short follow-up classroom work.    Teachers would also be welcome to bring their classes to the event for additional activities.  To register, visit the GEM conference website.

“After Newtown” Special Programming on WGBY

“After Newtown” is a series of special programming set to air February 18-22, 2013.   On Wednesday, February 20,  correspondent Miles O’Brien investigates how much science can tell us about a brain at risk for violence on NOVA “Mind of a Rampage Killer.”  Check out a preview here:

Then, learn how schools can detect problem behavior and prevent violent attacks on The Path to Violence.  We hope this special series of programs will be helpful and informative to those in decision making positions for school policy and safety.

Shakespeare Uncovered: Education Resources

Recently, you might have seen  Shakespeare Uncovered take on Hamlet and The Tempest.  This  great series combines history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passions of celebrated hosts such as Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Irons and Joely Richardson to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.

We invite you to see Shakespeare Uncovered as a series of splendid “short courses” made easy with episodes available for streaming.  Designed for immediate use in high school classrooms, an educator site provides a robust collection of lesson plans and curricular materials — which adhere to national learning standards – and contain video segments, comprehensive instructions for classroom implementation, printable student handouts, links to online resources, and suggestions for extension activities to enhance students’ reading, viewing, and appreciation of Shakespeare’s works.

Just a few of the lessons for grades 9-12 are Talking to Myself:  Hamlet’s Soliloquies,  All the Globe’s a Stage:  Shakespeare’s Theatre and Women’s Roles in As You Like It.   PBS LearningMedia, a digital library for teachers, also has scores of classroom resources on Shakespeare for grades 6-13+.

Mr. Steve to Perform at the Springfield Museums

20100714_SteveSongs_543%20%282%29Fans of Mr. Steve, the PBS KIDS personality and musician, will be able to sing and dance along with him when he visits the area on Saturday, February 23. Mr. Steve, a guitarist, travels to western Massachusetts as part of WGBY’s sponsorship of The Springfield Museums’ exhibit called GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World.

When asked about his two upcoming concerts, Steve Songs, as he’s also known among the younger set, said, “I’m so excited for our shows in Springfield. It’ll be like a greatest hits event: We’ll be playing songs from my PBS interstitials, some of our older most requested band tunes, plus a bunch of fun new songs from our brand new CD, Orangutan Van!”

As a partner in a youth fitness campaign called  “Recess Rocks,” Mr. Steve promotes healthy living habits through his music. WGBY welcomes families to learn some dance moves ahead of time and post their own “Recess Rocks” videos on Facebook before or after the concerts.

Mr. Steve will perform live at the Springfield Museums in concerts at 11:00AM and 1:00PM. A “meet and greet” will follow each concert. Family activities at the Museums are planned throughout the day. More information is available at the WGBY website.

WGBY to Air Special Programming in Light of Newtown Tragedy

WGBY will preempt some of its regularly scheduled programming this weekend in order to broadcast special content in the wake of last Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. On Friday, December 21, Gwen Ifill hosts After Newtown, a PBS prime-time special produced by WNET, with contributions from FRONTLINE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour and Washington Week, from 8-9pm. The show provides an overview of issues, both social and political, that have re-emerged in the past week since the tragedy occurred.
On Saturday, viewers can learn additional information about those issues as they are more closely examined in What Next After Newtown: What Our Country and Communities Can Do. This three-hour special will include both national and local programming divided into the following six half-hour segments: The Mind of a Killer, Public Policy and Mental Illness, School Security, Talking to Children/Finding a Path to Healing, Violence in the Media and Accessibility of Weapons. What Next After Newtown airs from 3-6pm on WGBY.
WGBY’s Connecting Point will re-broadcast three of this week’s segments within that time period: Watch to see host Carrie Saldo’s conversation with a psychologist about societal factors he believes cultivate this type of horrific behavior; her interview with Chicopee School Superintendent Richard Rege that covered student safety within the district; and Saldo’s talk with a local psychiatrist who suggested ways to talk with young children who may be afraid and reluctant to go to school.
Viewers are encouraged to share their comments and ideas on WGBY’s Facebook page during and after each program. As part of its commitment to improving local communities through lifelong learning, WGBY plans to participate in a long-term effort, both on-air and off, to improve child safety in our region.

Video Lending Library Feature: Can Science Stop Crime?

crimeA provocative title indeed! This DVD, by NOVA Science Now, comprises three segments. Criminal Minds: Born or Made? looks at how genes, brain structure and social and environmental issues influence our behavior. Death Detectives explores the investigation of dead bodies. Secrets of Lie Detection examines the biology of lying. There is also a profile of computer scientist Tadayoshi Kohno, who hacks into everyday machines in the effort to stay one step ahead of the criminals. Borrow Can Science Stop Crime? from the WGBY Collection at the Springfield Public Library.

AS SCHOOLS MATCH WITS Returns to WGBY this Weekend

On Saturday, December 1, at 7pm, Western New England’s favorite quiz show returns for its 52nd season on WGBY!   Sponsored in part by The Massachusetts Teachers Association and produced at the studios of Westfield State University, As Schools Match Wits delivers all of the fun of the classic high-school quiz show and introduces a new generation of high-school students to one of the few public competitions that stresses knowledge over physical ability.

The 2013 broadcast schedule  is available now.  If you want to share an episode with a colleague, family member or friend, every episode of As Schools Match Wits will be available ON DEMAND to Comcast digital cable subscribers in Massachusetts.  New episodes of As Schools Match Wits will also be available on-demand on the WGBY ASMW channel, with past episodes of As Schools Match Wits  available on Vimeo.

Video Lending Library Feature: Can I Eat That?

Here is a timely video for the holiday season. This video ventures into three areas to explore the scientific secrets behind our favorite foods. The topics include: Thanksgiving Cooking Chemistry – looks at the physics, chemistry and biology that go into making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner; Why Do We Cook? – Why are humans the only animals who cook?; What is Taste? – explores the secrets of flavor and taste. The video also includes a profile of Nathan Myhrvold, the former chief technology officer at Microsoft. Borrow this DVD from the WGBY Video Lending Library for a month by clicking here.