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Montana PBS boosts educational programming for students and teachers at home

Montana PBS boosts educational programming
Posted at 9:12 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 13:19:02-04

Credit is given to California PBS for the inspiration, but the new programming now offered through Montana PBS is completely unique to our state and to our kids.

“It's been a labor of love because we're all so deeply committed to providing this service to Montana kids,” said Director of Education Nikki Vradenburg of their new “Learn from Home” curriculum.

Flip on the TV anytime throughout the day, turn to PBS Montana, and you’ll see educational programming that aligns with Montana state standards for K-8 kids.

While other PBS stations across the country are offering a similar service, other stations are airing it on their sub channels.

Vradenburg said that wouldn’t cut it for viewers in Montana.

“We knew that most of our viewers are still watching our main channel, and that a lot of them have a satellite service and don't get those sub channels, so we knew that having this service on our main channel would be more important for our community. So, by PBS standards, we kind of went rogue,” said Vradenburg.

With public education facing an unprecedented learning curve and really focusing on the core subjects due to limited instruction time, PBS Montana is filling in the gaps.

“We thought this was a great opportunity to provide programming for STEM, or the arts and humanities, or careers in technology education.”

And each program that airs has a corresponding digital resource.

While some families have the means to thrive in the remote learning model, others don’t. PBS hopes this programming will offer an even playing field for all.

“That's our goal,” said Vradenburg, “Our goal is to provide an equitable service for students, no matter where they are and what their home situation is. Every kid should get to watch great programming and to learn from high quality media, so we're trying to provide something for everyone.”

You can find PBS program schedules, lesson plans, and other resources here.