With schools in the state having closed their doors to help contain the spread of COVID-19, both MPB and PBS have expanded educational efforts to ensure educators, parents and students are equipped with resources to keep the learning going outside of the classroom.
“MPB is doing what it does best, providing educational content and services to educators, children, families and community partners across the state,” said MPB Education Services Director Tara Wren. “During this most uncertain time, the MPB Education Services department is working harder than ever to lend its experience and expertise in a more robust manner to Mississippians.”
First, Mississippi Public Broadcasting is changing its daytime television programming to offer educational content for PreK-12 students. Beginning Monday, March 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., MPB’s primary television channel will broadcast educational content to provide continuous learning at home.
The line-up will feature both animated and live-action educational content covering subjects such as science, math and history. Early morning programming will focus on early learners, while the content schedule for midday will be for older learners. Early afternoon and evening content will be locally produced Mississippi programming.
Second, we encourage parents and educators of young children to watch the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel. With a carefully selected schedule packed with engaging series designed to boost four key areas of childhood development — cognitive (including literacy, science, technology and math), social, emotional and physical (guiding kids towards healthy living) — PBS continues to be America's top broadcaster for high-quality, educational children's programming.
Third, MPB is guiding Mississippi educators to PBS LearningMedia, a comprehensive online library full of PreK-13+ educational resources. Among the features, PBS LearningMedia offers the ability for teachers to build lesson plans that include standards-aligned videos, games and other interactive educational content. It also integrates with Google Classroom and Remind, which many teachers already use.
Fourth, to further enhance learning at home, MPB has launched a web page called “MPB At-Home Learning.” The page offers resources for parents, children and educators during this critical time in our nation and world.
“We are providing more resources for distance learning and helping parents and students cope with a new way of learning,” Wren said. “With the help of the most trusted PBS programs and other public media stations across the country, we will keep resources updated, continue to push out creative ways to engage in learning activities as a family and be available to answer questions. We want everyone to keep up with us on Facebook and Instagram @MPBOnline and @MPBEducation.”
Fifth, MPB will broadcast a new MPB Think Radio program called Mississippi Education Connection that will air Fridays at 10 a.m., while Next Stop, Mississippi is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Mississippi Education Connection listeners will hear from state education leaders, teachers and counselors on best practices for learning at home.
Finally, MPB has partnered with the Mississippi Department of Education to provide online learning opportunities for students.
The combination of MPB and PBS children’s content, along with educational resources provided by partners will be important as teachers, parents and students work to ensure the learning process continues in our state.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s foundation was built on the mission of providing resources for the educational and professional growth of the students and citizens of Mississippi. Each day, we show our commitment to that charge through our diverse programming and events that strengthen the knowledge of our community.