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Ohio Public Television Stations Launch Home Learning Initiative

[PBS Television]
cartoon character Daniel Tiger washing his hands

ideastream and other public media outlets around Ohio are helping fill the education gap created by shuttered schools during the coronavirus crisis. Starting Monday, Ohio’s PBS affiliates are changing  programming to emphasize home learning.

In addition to sharing online programs, ideastream is offering educational services for free through over-the-air television broadcast to ensure widespread accessibility in the community.

WVIZ/PBS ideastream’s weekday broadcast schedule is shifting to focus on programs tailored for children ages 3 to 8 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and children ages 9 and older from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. These at-home learning programs, which ideastream is calling ideaKids, can be viewed over-the-air on channel 25.1, through local cable and satellite providers and on YouTube TV starting Monday, March 30, 2020.

“Hundreds of thousands of Northeast Ohio families already welcome ideastream’s proven, high-quality educational programs into their homes,” said Kevin E. Martin, ideastream President and CEO. “With these adjustments to our broadcast schedule and expansion of our existing teaching materials, we can quickly fill an important need for families at a very important time in our country’s history.”

ideastream’s ideaKids services also will include a daily e-newsletter with tools, exercises and other resources to complement the broadcast programming for children ages 3 to 8.

The expanded educationa program is being made possible with a $25,000 grant from the Stocker Foundation awarded to ideastream to benefit Northeast Ohio with increased programming while students engage in at-home learning.

The programming schedule was developed in collaboration with WBGU in Bowling Green, WCET Public Media in Cincinnati, Think TV in Dayton, WGTE in Toledo, WOSU Public Media in Columbus, WOUB Public Media in Athens, PBS Western Reserve in Kent and WVIZ/PBS ideasteam in Cleveland.

“In this unprecedented time, Ohio’s educators, parents and caregivers are doing their best to keep learning going for students in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. I am humbled and grateful that all eight of Ohio’s public broadcasting stations have stepped up as major partners committed to delivering high-quality, grade-appropriate learning to students, complementing the amazing effort being made by Ohio’s schools and districts,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. “This ‘At Home Learning Initiative’ crosses the digital divide and provides yet another tool in the toolbox, ensuring learning doesn’t stop just because school buildings are closed.”

ideastream is already considered the state’s largest classroom, delivering enhanced learning opportunities to thousands of local students and educators in hundreds of schools each year. Other educational resources from ideastream include:

  • NewsDepth, ideastream's award-winning multimedia children's show ⁠— covering news for kids for 50 years. NewsDepth is a free, trusted resource for thousands of parents, teachers and students across Ohio. The series has been recognized with multiple regional Emmy® awards and three gold seals from the Parents’ Choice Awards. NewsDepth episodes are broadcast on multiple public television stations across Ohio and are available 24/7 at newsdepth.ideastream.org. Special segments, aligned with Ohio’s learning standards, can also be accessed on PBS LearningMedia, YouTube and newsdepth.ideastream.org.
  • Health's Up, ideastream's podcast exploring healthy choices through kid's voices. The podcast covers health topics local students were most interested in learning about with plans underway to add new coronavirus-related episodes to this series. Lesson plans are available to pair with each episode. Recommended for ages 10-13.
  • Free, localized WVIZ/PBS KIDS programs, available 24/7, online at ideastream.org/kidstv. This schedule of programs also airs on a 24-hour WVIZ/PBS KIDS TV channel available over-the-air on channel 25.5, YouTube TV and through some cable providers. The schedule for WVIZ/PBS KIDS can be found at ideastream.org/kids247.
  • Free, standards-aligned videos, interactive activities, lesson plans and more for parents and teachers curated by WVIZ/PBS ideastream and PBS on PBS LearningMedia.
  • Connections, ideastream's daily newsletter to educators. Connections provides teachers of all ages (pre-kindergarten through grade twelve) with standards-aligned thematic activities and lessons using trusted PBS KIDS and PBS resources.