One of the biggest concerns in education today is how to deal with the staggering high school dropout rate in America – one in four teenagers will not finish high school. This issue has become prominent lately, as legislators at the national and state level attempt to write education reform. And, we are reminded that it is ultimately up to us, not only as a nation, but as educators, parents, businesses, schools, etc., to get our education system back on track. American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen (supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) is a public media project that hopes to increase graduation rates through cooperative initiatives with public broadcasting stations across the country, helping local communities create and execute solutions to significantly reduce the number of teenagers leaving high school early.
As part of the American Graduate project, WFSU will be hosting a free screening of the brand new PBS documentary, 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School, at the Challenger Learning Center on Thursday, March 7th, with a discussion afterwards. This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss what we can do as a community to address the dropout rate.
The documentary allows viewers to experience a year in the lives of students and staff at Washington Metropolitan High School in Washington, D.C. and to see some of the challenges the students face in graduating from high school.
WFSU’s screening will take place at the Challenger Learning Center, 200 S. Duval Street, with a reception at 6:00, screening at 6:30 and discussion at 7:30 p.m.
For more information and to RSVP for the event, visit wfsu.org/180days.
During his State of the Union address this week, President Obama stressed the importance of early childhood education as the foundation for a promising future, and proposed working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child.
Fred Rogers was also a champion of quality education for preschoolers and emphasized the importance of a child’s emotional well-being and emotional intelligence in determining their success in school. Fred knew the importance of making lessons relevant and meaningful to a child:
“As you help children appreciate their real-life experiences playing with things like numbers, shapes, and measurements, you will be helping them learn that math can have relevance in all people’s lives. When children care about what they’re learning, and when they know their teachers care about them, they are more likely to be ready to learn and grow.”
Many children do not enjoy learning about math, perhaps because they do not see why it is important, or they do not think it is fun. The Fred Rogers Company, offers some wonderful resources for teachers and parents to use to help their students love math, including a video clip of Fred demonstrating the importance of counting, and a fun counting activity.
Additional Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood™ content and games is available on pbskids.org, and over 300 episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood™ are available for purchase on amazon.com for $1.99 each.
As part of the 43rd season of Sesame Street™, Sesame Workshop has introduced a series of 11 minute online videos called Elmo the Musical. Each episode is accompanied by an interactive game, or “math-filled adventure of the imagination” that helps children with skills such as counting and identifying shapes, all while having lots of fun with Elmo!
The newest addition to the series is Prince Elmo the Musical. In the accompanying game, children are able to design their own on-screen character and decorate the castle. Then it is time to help Elmo defeat a dragon, with many counting and shape-naming adventures along the way!
The show’s website also includes healthy recipes, activities and printable paper dolls for each episode that help reinforce the concepts learned in the video.
It’s a fun-filled adventure with Elmo that will have your child singing, dancing and loving math!
This Valentine’s Day bring PBS Kids into your classroom or home with fun activities and special episodes of favorite TV shows.
On February 14th, an all new episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood™, “You are Special; Daniel is Special,” will air, featuring songs performed by Jason Mraz.
Older Valentine’s Day themed episodes of shows including Caillou™, WordGirl™ and Martha Speaks™ will also be shown on February 14th (broadcast schedule).
In addition to video on air, there are many great activities available on the PBS Kids website to help you and your little one celebrate Valentine’s Day, such as Clifford™ coloring pages, Dinosaur Train™ printable cards, and a Curious George™ shapes game.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are affected by the flu. The first month of 2013 has already seen severe outbreaks across the country. Many strains of the virus can be prevented through vaccination. However, because schools do not require flu shots, parents must decide if they will have their children vaccinated, or not. For many parents, the toughest decision is not whether to give their child the flu shot, but how to stop them from screaming, crying or having a meltdown at the doctor’s office.
Parents and teachers can find excellent resources from pbs.org and other educational media outlets, such as The Fred Rogers Company, that offer suggestions on how to prepare children for a visit to the doctor.
There is an entire Sid the Science Kid™ episode (Getting a Shot: You Can Do It) dedicated to informing youngsters about the importance of getting a flu shot, as well as printable activities and an online game to go with the show.
The Fred Rogers Company website offers a Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood™ video that deals with getting a shot, as well as discussion and activity suggestions for parents and teachers to utilize at home and in the classroom.
Additional links: The Fred Rogers Company, parent resources: http://www.fci.org/madfeelings/1-15-10.html; Information about preventing the flu: http://www.flu.gov/
Dinosaur Train Submarine Adventure
Monday, February 18 at 9 am ET
Dive into an underwater adventure in the all-new, one-hour special Dinosaur Train “Submarine Adventure” premiering Monday, February 18.
When Buddy and his family want to follow some friends on an undersea fishing trip, the conductor unveils a new invention – the Dinosaur Train Submarine! On its maiden voyage, Otto Ophthalmosaurus guides the sub deep into the ocean using his big eyes that can see in the dark. Then, the family meets Shoshana Shonisaurus, an enormous marine reptile that’s something between a dolphin and a whale, and Maisie Mosasaurus, a huge fast swimming lizard with flippers. Finally, the family watches small eggs hatch on the beach. Baby Archelon turtles emerge and start to swim away. The family follows them on their journey across the ocean where they will grow up to be giant-sized sea turtles!
The BIG movie about everyone’s favorite BIG red dog is coming to the small screen! Clifford’s Really Big Movie premieres December 14 on PBS KIDS!
In the PBS television premiere of this Warner Bros. 2004 animated feature film, Clifford the Big Red Dog (voiced by the late John Ritter) runs away to join a traveling carnival when he mistakenly believes that he has become a burden to his human family. The movie follows Clifford, Cleo and T-Bone on a fantastic voyage as they join Larry’s Amazing Animal Show and go on a quest for a life-time supply of Tummie Yummy dog treats. As he seeks his fortune in food, Clifford helps his new animal buddies overcome their fears, saves the carnival from going bust, and finds his way home to his real family. Wayne Brady, Jenna Elfman and John Goodman also lend their voices to the movie.
~ Watch ~ Friday, December 14th at 6 am ET, Saturday, December 15th at 7 am ET and Sunday, December 16th at 8 am ET Click for more info.
Emmy® Award-Winning Actress America Ferrera Returns to Guest Star as Voice of “Dr. Rosalinda Cordova”
Download Sid Pets Activity Sheet!
Sid’s “Living Things Week” will kick off with the premiere of “Sid’s Pet Project” featuring EMMY award-winning actress America Ferrera as the voice of marine biologist Dr. Rosalinda Cordova.
SID THE SCIENCE KID is an educational and inspiring preschool series that has been a prominent resource for fostering early childhood development while entertaining millions of 3-6 year olds since its premiere in 2008. The series mission is to introduce all kids to the joy of discovery, and Sid’s “Living Things Week” has a special focus on life cycles. The four-episode arc begins with Sid preparing to babysit Grandma’s dog Philbert, in hopes of proving to his parents that he’s ready for a puppy of his own. Gabriela’s mom, Dr. Rosalinda Cordova (Ferrera) helps Sid and the class investigate how to take care of a pet by bringing them their very own pet…a praying mantis! Throughout the week the series will also explore the topics of sleep, allergies and life cycles. As always, Teacher Susie is at the forefront of each show taking the children on academic journeys and leading them to a better understanding of scientific concepts.
- Sid’s Pet Project
Premieres Monday, November 12. Sid is very excited because he’s going to babysit Grandma’s dog Philbert for the weekend. This is a great way for Sid to show his parents that he’s ready to take care of his own puppy. But there’s only one problem…how exactly do you take care of a pet? Sid heads to school to investigate more, and is delighted to see a special guest. It’s Gabriela’s Mom, Dr. Rosalinda Cordova! She brought the class their very own pet…a praying mantis! And now the kids have to learn how to take care of it. That means investigating what the praying mantis needs to eat, drink, and what kind of home it needs. As Sid quickly discovers, taking care of a pet is a big responsibility!
- Sleep? Who Needs It?!
Premieres Tuesday, November 13. Sid is ready to stay up all night so he and his stuffed animals can pretend to fly into space on a rocket ship! When his Mom insists that he can’t stay up, Sid ventures to school to investigate more. He and friends explore how the body needs sleep to properly function, and most important, we need sleep to grow and stay healthy! Understanding that sometimes we feel too excited to sleep (like before an adventure into space), Susie presents a special Super Fab Lab where the kids practice calming down, and preparing their bodies for sleep. Susie lowers the lights, turns off all the sounds in the room, and teaches the kids how to breathe slowly to relax…and sleep! After school Sid heads to Gabriela’s house where her mom Dr. Rosanlinda Cordova is ready for a nap after being up all night.
- Seed the Science Kid
Premieres Wednesday, November 14. At breakfast, Sid discovers seeds in his apple, and decides that seeds really get in the way when you’re trying to eat the apple! This leads Sid to investigate seeds with his friends at the Science Center, where they learn that many living things grow in life cycles. And while many fruits start out as seeds, many animals start out as eggs. The kids investigate frog eggs, butterfly eggs, and chicken eggs, and then see the fully-grown animals they grow into. The kids are elated and empowered with their newfound knowledge about life cycles, and can’t wait to get back to school so they can plant Sid’s apple seed and watch it slowly grow into an apple tree!
- The Reason Sid’s Sneezin’
Premieres Thursday, November 15. Sid wakes up and can’t stop sneezing. He makes his way into the kitchen where he finds his Dad in the middle of a similar sneeze attack. Sid soon discovers that just like his Dad, he might be allergic to pollen! This leads Sid on a mission to learn more about allergies. Mom can think of someone who knows a lot about allergies…Grandma—she’s a nurse! At school, Grandma helps the kids discover that sometimes our bodies can react strongly to something we touch, smell, or eat, so our bodies try to fight it off—and that’s an allergy. Gerald tells everyone that he has a food allergy–he can’t eat strawberries. Wanting to help their friend, Sid, May, and Gabriela decide to make their class a Strawberry-Free-Zone! Gerald is touched, and Susie suggests a special Super Fab Lab survey to discover if other people they know also have allergies.
Sid the Science Kid airs at 11:30 am ET weekdays on WFSU-TV.
Download Sid Pets Activity Sheet!
Lead is a kind of metal that can be found in some common items. If lead gets into the body, it can make people sick, especially young children whose bodies are growing. When lead gets into the body, it is called lead poisoning. Learning about lead can help your whole family stay healthy. Lead might not be something you can easily see, but everyone in your family can work together to keep the lead away. http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/leadaway