Raising Readers!

Yesterday, I got an unexpected phone call from a friend.  She has an acquaintance that works at the local PBS station, and they were hosting a tour that afternoon and wanted kids in their educational program room during the tour.  My friend's kids are still in school, so she asked me, and we hopped right to it.  Nothing like an impromptu field trip!

Now, my kids don't watch TV.  They have watched a few PBS programs at their great-grandmother's house and at the dentist, but they call them videos.  They don't seem to know (haha!) that televisions have "videos" available at any hour of the day; however, many PBS shows are built around book characters they know, and hey, we like learning stuff!

The station is a fun, visually appealing place with a cool, open-air design.  Their educational room has a small library and posters and art pieces created by local schoolchildren.  Can you name the characters shown above?

The program that day had just three kids - my two and one more cutie, and I loved the smallness of it.  Mrs. Debbie (Debbie Thompson, Director of Education & Community Engagement) lead them through a series of activities involving letters, sounds, drawing pictures, making pinwheels, identifying opposites, and of course, READING.

Their program is called Raising Readers, and Mrs. Thompson explained that while many kids don't have access to books on a daily basis, almost every kid in America has daily access to a TV.  PBS is attempting to get kids reading through programming that connects to books, hoping kids will read once they are invested in those familiar characters.

WTCI (wtciTV.org) hosts these educational programs for school groups, homeschoolers, and families.  They also have an annual Family Day where the TV characters come out to play.  It is held on the first Sunday of November and involves face painting, free books, and lots of other fun activities for kids.  If you are in the Chattanooga area and are interested in a tour of the station or an educational program for a small group of kids, contact Debbie Thompson at dthompson@wtciTV.org.  They want to give every kid the power of words.

Oh, and there are goodie bags.  JOY!

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