The Full STEAM Ahead! Early Childhood Educational Initiativeis a multi-faceted approach to educating and engaging both children and adults in this very important and timely topic. For two years PBS39 will offer our school partners, parents, and youth opportunities to learn about and become engaged in a variety of STEAM activities and educational programs.
The four short-term objectives related to this goal are:
Increase exposure to the arts for pre-school and elementary school children.
Inform educators and school administrators about the educational resources available to their classrooms/students.
Increase parents’ skills in engaging their children in STEAM related activities.
Increase parents’ attitude in encouraging their children to engage in STEAM related activities.
In an effort to achieve these goals, PBS39 proposes to provide the following services to our viewers, consortium schools, and local community:
Early Childhood Education Newsletter – This electronic newsletter will be distributed every month, starting in October 2015, for a total of 20 issues throughout the course of the 2-year initiative. This newsletter will target early education teachers and parents of young children. Newsletter components include: links to reputable STEM and art games and content on the internet (i.e., PBS.org, Sesame Workshop, etc.), descriptions of activities for children in Pre-K through 5th grade, and a Lehigh Valley calendar of events that highlight STEM and arts-based programs and activities from PBS39 and our collaborative partners. Current events and news on early childhood education topics will also be explored. The newsletter will be sent directly to people’s inbox, as well as be posted on our website for access.
Social Media Campaign – PBS39 will regularly post updates regarding the Initiative, what our community partners are doing, and monthly educational messages. PBS39 uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and our blog Speak Up to get our messages out. The social media campaign will also kick off in October 2015.
PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest – The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is open to any K-3 student that wants to write and illustrate their own story. Students will be encouraged to write a story that has a STEAM component to it. This special resource collection is designed to support educators as they work with students to brainstorm story ideas, hone their writing skills, and prepare their Contest entries. This contest will run from January 2016 – April 2016 this fiscal year.
Focus Special Reports – Targeting parents of young children, Focus will create and produce at least four 30-minute episodes on STEAM related topics that will be aired each season. Focus runs from September – May each year.
Create with Me – Six sessions of this parent and child craft program will occur over the summer during July and August. Our target participants are parents and children ages 5 and younger. This program will be held on-site at PBS39’s Public Media and Education Center, and will also be available at various community-based locations throughout the Lehigh Valley.
On-Air Educational Messaging – Six educational messages regarding the importance of STEAM in early childhood education will be aired during our popular day-time PBS Kids line-up. These messages will appear from January 2016 – June 2016.
Artist of the Month – Students in grades K-12 can submit a copy, picture or video of their art (music, fine arts, writing, digital/media, or performing arts) as an entry to this contest. Twelve youth will be selected in mid-November and will be assigned “Artist of the Month” for each month during the 2016 calendar year. An art show/winners party will be held in our PBS39 studio for the winners, their friends and family. In addition, each child who wins this contest will get a prize and will be featured in a 30-second televised interstitial.
Math & Measurement in the Kitchen – This new program will bring an exciting and delighting dimension to typically mundane tasks like counting, measuring and weighing for students in grades 3-5 at PBS39’s studio kitchen set. Culinary and academically qualified professionals will teach these early learners the importance of math while showing them how to prepare healthful foods.