The Tennessee Department of Education has announced a second phase of its statewide partnership with PBS stations to ensure educational content during the summer.
Starting June 1, all six Tennessee PBS stations - WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS and Chattanooga WTCI – began offering educational programming for grades K-3, on weekdays from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. CST, through June and July.
"We are incredibly grateful for this PBS partnership which has made it possible to provide more students with access to educational content,” TDOE Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a news release. “We have seen an overwhelming response to the Teaching Tennessee Learning Series, created by Tennessee teachers in Tennessee classrooms, so we are excited about the opportunity to continue the partnership and keep students engaged, learning and growing all summer long.”
The partnership originally launched on April 6th in response to COVID-19 school closures across the state.
The department worked with Tennessee teachers and school districts to create “Tennessee Teaching,” an at-home learning series consisting of 320 virtual classroom lessons providing ELA and Math instruction for 1–8 grade students to help ensure children had access to learning opportunities regardless of internet connectivity in their home.
In addition eight weeks of programming, all 320 lessons have companion teacher lesson plans and student packets which are available on the department’s website as well as on the TDOE YouTube page, along with twenty lessons for each subject in each grade, and have had more than 75,000 views over the past two months.
"The PBS programming helped in a time of transition and gave many of our students a way to engage without having to have broadband internet. The lessons became an important tool for us to help keep students learning,” Shawn Kimble, Superintendent of Lauderdale County Schools said in the news release. “The department was swift in getting us that help when we most needed it and I think the effort was appreciated by many."
In order to continue ensuring students have access to learning opportunities over the summer, the Summer Learning Series will feature PBS LearningMedia programming that has been specifically chosen for a continued focus on early literacy and math, aligned to Tennessee standards.
The series launched online on June 1 and each program also includes teacher, family and student resources available online.
Schedule for June 1-June 15, Monday through Friday:
"I'm so excited to be working with all of the Tennessee PBS stations to continue this important collaboration with the Department of Education and Commissioner Schwinn,” Becky Magura, President and CEO of WCTE said in the news release. “Our unified goal of keeping children excited about learning over the summer with quality educational content and learning activities from PBS LearningMedia builds on the foundation of TDOE’s At Home Learning schedule. We make a great team."