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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

PBS partners to provide on-the-go learning for local students

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Holice Powell second-grade teacher Monica Robbins helps 8-year-old Mya Vaughn navigate the PBS website in the main room of McIver's Grant Public Library's new facility. Vaughn is one of Robbins' students and the daughter of Melinda Harris.
McIver's Grant Public Library and the Dyer County School System recently partnered with PBS to make sure that local students are ready to learn, wherever they go.

Sue Lasky of WLJT brought PBS's Ready to Learn mobile learning program to Dyer County students, providing free apps and digital books to students attending an event at McIver's Grant Public Library shortly before spring break.

Snacks and refreshments were provided, as well as library tours. Students and educators participating in Dyersburg State Community College's Early Childhood Education program were also on hand to help.

"We want to make sure kids enjoy learning," said Lasky. "We are giving out apps for mobile learning. And for those that don't have iPads, we are giving out a DVD with four books on it."

Jon-David Binkley, 6-year-old son of Gayle Binkley, takes a turn on the computers in the Kids' Zone while his mother and older brother look for books. A recent partnership between WLJT PBS, Dyer County School System and McIver's Grant Public Library offered free apps and website tours to parents and students at the new library.
The goal of the PBS Mobile Learning program is to provide preschool and early elementary school children free access to PBS Kids educational mobile apps through community organizations. Developed in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and powered by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the program is a part of the Ready To Learn Initiative, whose mission is to use the power of media to promote early learning and school readiness.

"PBS (offers the) Mobile Learning program to children so no matter where they are, they can be learning in a whole new way," said Lasky.

Apps relating to math, vocabulary, emotions, science, nutrition, literacy, reading, phonics and creativity for the iPad, Kindle, Nook tablet, Android tablet, iPod Touch, iPhone and Android phone were available to students and their families attending the event.

Parents were also provided with a list of tips to explore the WLJT website and a detailed account of series available on the site designed to provide curriculum for pre-K through kindergarten, kindergarten through third grade, and first through fifth grade in a fun or unique way.

Sue Lasky of WLJT explains the PBS Ready to Learn program with residents attending a free app give-a-way at McIver's Grant Public Library with the help of Dyersburg State Community College Coordinator of Early Childhood Education Sherry Harpole.
"This offers step-by-step instructions for keeping track of your younger children," said Lasky. "Cheap is good, but free is wonderful!"

PBS stars like Arthur, Curious George and Martha from "Martha Speaks" aid students on the website with a Dinosaur Train and Kids Island also worthy destinations.

"We are talking names and information on what kind of technology they have," said DSCC Coordinator of Early Childhood Education Sherry Harpole, who led the DSCC volunteers attending the event. "We are helping parents navigate the PBS website and giving tours of the new library. That is definitely the new wave, learning with apps and computer programs. We are integrating iPads into our classrooms in the early childhood program at DSCC and trying to stay a step ahead and also know how to use technology appropriately."

"We are thrilled that PBS chose us as a site for the Raising Readers program," said McIver's Grant Public Library Director Dara Gonzales. "One of our missions in the library is to raise lifelong readers and this PBS program will help us do just that. We hope to continue to have this caliber of programming at the library."

"Free apps are a big deal," said McIver's Grant Public Library Children's Librarian Lara Freidhof. "I love that PBS is providing all this for our kids. I think we had a wonderful turnout and I am so glad that these students can come and play and learn on our computers."

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