Sometimes, you need to educate parents in order to reach children. When Seattle-area parents asked for educational programming and services for children, PBS affiliate KCTS launched "KCTS PBS Kids Go!" to help them understand and use already-available educational programs.
KCTS formed two project goals. The first? To help both parents and educators use the broadcast and online resources KCTS already provided. The second was to better engage children in hands-on learning activities--ones that extended beyond the TV or computer screen.
What better way to reach out than through community partnerships? KCTS joined forces with local groups to plan a variety of events.
Washington Reading Corps and Kimball Elementary School organized a family literacy night where children and parents became acquainted with "Postcards from Buster" at activity sessions. Children learned from Buster by creating their own nonfiction tales about their town and lives. They took home gifts of Buster books.
Beacon Hill Elementary hosted two workshops in which parents were introduced to "PBS Kids Go!" web sites and programs. Ninety parents and caregivers attended.
KCTS also created educational parent guides to three of the "PBS Kids Go!" web sites. The guides introduced the sites and outlined off-screen activities to extend learning.
"Over half of the workshop participants stated that they would visit the 'PBS Kids Go!' web site with their children at home," explains Project Manager Stefanie Malone. "KCTS specifically reached out to parents and children from low-income families and students who are educationally at-risk."
"KCTS helps us realize our mission by supporting families, promoting literacy and engaging young minds," confirms Celina Garza of Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. The station brought an Arthur booth to the group's health fair, complete with Arthur himself. The station distributed parent guides and hosted children's activities.
"KCTS brought some needed resources to parents and children in our area," Celina continues. "The 'PBS Kids Go!' project was met with great enthusiasm in our community...We look forward to continuing our partnership!"