Media Contact: Media Contact:
Promotion & Marketing Associate, WJCT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WJCT Public Media Launches AT-HOME LEARNING:
Online Resources and a New Television Schedule of Educational Programming
A Florida Public Media Partnership Delivers Resources for First Coast Teachers and Families
Jacksonville, Fla. — March 30, 2020 – As many schools and districts across Florida shift to online and at-home learning in an effort to lessen the spread of COVID-19, WJCT Public Media, in partnership with public media organizations across the state, has launched a new, weekday television schedule of educational programs aligned with state standards. The new programming begins Monday, March 30, 2020 at 11 a.m. on TV Channel 7.1 (Comcast 8 and 440). WJCT will also offer a suite of free digital learning resources accessible from home. The service has been developed over the past two weeks in consultation with educators, including Duval County Public Schools.
“These school closures bring challenges for parents and teachers in keeping students engaged and learning,” says WJCT President and CEO, David McGowan. “We are really pleased to be able to create this service and to restructure our educational offerings in ways that make them most useful to educators, parents, and children as we all confront schools being closed. As Jacksonville’s public media organization we have education in our DNA, so this is a natural way for us to help make a bad situation a little bit better.”
WJCT will dedicate its daytime weekday schedule on channel 7.1 (Comcast 8 and 440) to Florida standards-aligned educational programming. The new schedule, airing from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., follows WJCT’s current block of programming for early learners (PreK through third grade) from 6 to 11 a.m., and includes specific blocks of time for high school content (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and middle school content (3 to 6 p.m.). These new blocks will cover topics such as English language arts, social studies, science and math. Programs can be incorporated into lesson plans for teachers, while providing parents and caregivers with quality, educational content to supplement their child’s academic studies. More information on the schedule and available resources can be found at wjct.org/education.
Each week’s program schedule will be shared with teachers across the First Coast, who can follow up with discussion questions, worksheets or hands-on projects and experiments when they communicate with their students. Resources will also be integrated into the Duval County Public Schools’ Parent Academy.
“Duval County Public Schools’ Parent Academy, a free family resource traditionally offering face-to-face classes, has now moved to virtual courses, and soon can add television to our educational offerings,” said Regan Copeland, Parent Academy Supervisor with Duval County Public Schools. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with WJCT in providing our families with additional enrichment opportunities as a supplement to our HomeRoom environment.”
This new programming builds upon WJCT’s education-focused initiatives, including the region’s pre-eminent professional development conference for teachers (TEACH, scheduled for Saturday, November 7, 2020) the PBS Kids Writing Contest, and additional resources available to educators and parents, such as:
- Florida PBS LearningMedia: WJCT and PBS have curated free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more for all Florida educators. Collections include videos, lesson plans and activities, sorted by grade level (PreK through high school), subject area and state standard.
- WJCT Kids Connect Newsletter: WJCT’s new weekly e-newsletter provides engaging educational activities every Monday morning, with fun family learning ideas from sources such as PBS, The Fred Rogers Company and other local educational community partners.
- WJCT World: Effective March 30, 2020, the public media WORLD Channel (WJCT 7.4, Comcast 212) will provide a five-hour At-Home Learning Service for students in grades 6-12 every weekday. Programs will highlight topics such as science, history and English language arts.
- Support for Teachers: Through PBS LearningMedia, teachers can access webinars from PBS master trainers and educators about how to create engaging and effective distance learning plans.
- WJCT-TV (Comcast 8 and 440): WJCT’s main PBS channel will continue broadcasting standards-aligned programs like Nova, SciGirls, History Detectives, American Masters, Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed The World and Africa’s Great Civilizations weekdays from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m.
Many public media organizations across the country are providing enhanced at-home learning resources and revised programming schedules in response to the widespread school closures which have resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic. More information on those initiatives can be found at pbs.org/education.
About WJCT Public Media:
WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving the First Coast since 1958, using its on-air, online, and live event platforms to enable community members to learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook and follow WJCT on Twitter and Instagram.
About PBS KIDS:
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video app is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.