Ongoing Community Engagement & Outreach
WHYY's Children's Service has an array of ongoing services that speak to its incredible strengths: programs, workshops and partnerships.
Sixty hours of educational children's programming per week provide an invaluable ally for the more than 450,000 kids who tune to TV12 to see Barney, Big Bird, Clifford and the Teletubbies. These are some of our children's "first friends," and, along with the correlating workshops and online services that WHYY provides to adults, they play a key role in the healthy cognitive and emotional development of the young children of our region.
This past year WHYY conducted a record 84 community Ready To Learn workshops for parents, early childhood educators and childcare providers. These workshops, accredited and certified in our tri-state region, are conducted in English, Spanish or bilingually. Using Sesame Street, Dragon Tales and Mister Rogers as starting points, the workshops focus on literacy skills, media literacy, communication, problem-solving and behavioral issues.
WHYY's Ready To Learn workshops, which celebrated their 11th anniversary in FY'05, were augmented by several additional ongoing community efforts: WHYY's First Book program; In the Spirit of Family seminars; Reading Rainbow contest; and Educational Leadership forum for regional school administrators.
Through First Book, WHYY continued to distribute 3,000 much-needed new children's books each year free of charge to children who would not have any or enough books to read.
Once again, members of WHYY's Kids Club, who range in age from 1 to 8, had unique opportunities at museums, libraries, theaters and the WHYY studios to explore their world and meet some of their first "celebrities," the characters they see on TV12. These engaging experiences, as well as the quarterly issue of their own publication, BUZZ, help young ones begin to "know why."
WHYY's In the Spirit of Family series, guided by WHYY-FM's Dr. Dan Gottlieb focused on "Siblings of Those With Special Needs"; "Mindful Parenting: Managing Stress in the Family"; "Keeping the Lines of Communication Open with Teens"; and "Families & Aging: Caring for Our Elders, Caring for Ourselves." Each was recorded live before a studio audience at WHYY and later broadcast on Voices in the Family.
In a new initiative, WHYY, with the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, reached out to school superintendents through two forums focusing on "Educational Leadership in an Era of External Accountability." These were taped and distributed to the seven other public television stations across the state of Pennsylvania and to interested school districts.
WHYY's Reading Rainbow contest was the best ever in the station's history, attracting more than 670 submissions from students in kindergarten through grade 3. It was a testament to invaluable lessons learned each day by children and adults who participate in the WHYY Children's Service and help us advance the commitment to learning.