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Arizona public television launches educational broadcast schedule

Not all kids have access to computers — or even the internet — while “sheltering at home” to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Public broadcasting in Arizona will fill the void with educational programming.

Bridging the gap for families that lack access to online learning tools

Beginning Monday, March 23, Arizona PBS and Arizona Public Media will be providing educational content to students and educators who have been under “shelter at home” restrictions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

The collaboration, called the Arizona At Home Learning partnership, includes a suite of free digital resources and an educational broadcast schedule of programs aligned with state curriculum standards. The website and programming have been endorsed by the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“These school closures challenge teachers, parents and caregivers to find ways of keeping kids and teenagers engaged and learning,” said Arizona PBS general manager Mary Mazur, in a statement. “As community-based public broadcasters with a mission to support education across our state, our stations are stepping up to provide trusted, high-quality resources to students and educators.”

“As we continue to navigate the ever-changing coronavirus crisis, our stations remain committed to our core mission of inspiring, educating, and informing audiences through trusted, quality programming,” said Jack Gibson, CEO of Arizona Public Media, which serves Tucson and southern Arizona. “One of our top priorities during this trying time is to provide teachers, students, and parents with educational programming and resources while they deal with the new realities of widespread school closures.”

The stations will dedicate their weekday daytime schedules to educational programming curated by educators and programmers across the PBS system. The new 5 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. schedule includes specific blocks of time for students in pre-K through 12th grade and covers subjects including English language arts, social studies, science and math.

“Our hope is that this solution will bridge the gap for families and students who only have access over the air,” said Kim Flack, director of education and community impact at Arizona PBS. “We hope to be a valuable supplement to schools’ remote learning efforts by providing these standards-based materials.”

On Arizona PBS channels in Phoenix and across Central and Northern Arizona:

  • PBS KIDS programming for PreK to grade 3 will remain in the 5-6:30 a.m. hours on Arizona PBS, then will continue uninterrupted on Arizona PBS KIDS or atpbskids.org.
  • Programs for grades 4-8 will air on Arizona PBS from 6:30 a.m. to noon
  • Programs for grades 9-12 will air on Arizona PBS from 12:30-4:30 p.m., after which regular news and primetime programming will resume.

For more information on how to access Arizona PBS channels, visit https://azpbs.org/arizona-pbs-on-demand/our-channel-offerings/

On Arizona Public Media channels in Tucson and Southern Arizona:

  • PBS KIDS programming for PreK to grade 3 will remain in the 4-10 a.m. hours on PBS 6 then will continue uninterrupted on PBS KIDS or at pbskids.org.
  • Programs for grades 4-8 will air on PBS 6 PLUS from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Programs geared toward grades 9-12 will air on PBS 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., after which regular news and primetime programming will resume.

For more information on how to access channels in southern Arizona, visittv.azpm.org/channel-finder.

The primetime schedules for both Arizona PBS and Arizona Public Media will remain the same.

Arizona PBS and Arizona Public Media continue to promotePBS LearningMedia as a resource for educators in their efforts to provide content and support to students and their parents. Resources for grades K-12, covering all subject areas, will be added weekly to azpbs.org/athomelearning and azpm.org/distancelearning.

Arizona PBS is also collecting educational resources families and educators may need while schools are closed at https://azpbs.org/2020/03/education-resources-while-schools-are-closed/.

Input from parents and teachers about specific needs for facilitating home learning is also welcome. Contact Kimberly Flack, Arizona PBS director of education and community impact, or Cheryl Gerken, AZPM educational outreach coordinator, with questions or suggestions.

RELATED: At-home learning resources for quarantined kids 

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