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Literacy Lessons Taught by North Carolina Teachers Begin February 2

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 2/2/2021 — PBS North Carolina, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) and the William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, presents the statewide broadcast premiere of Classroom Connection, Tuesday, February 2, at 8 AM, on PBS NC and online, at The learning series is part of the network’s larger At-Home Learning initiative and will deliver engaging literacy and math lessons, aligned with North Carolina curriculum standards and featuring North Carolina teachers, aimed at Pre-K through third-grade students to support their remote learning. Lessons during the Classroom Connection programming block are complemented by PBS KIDS educational shows, along with a suite of online resources and hands on learning activities to extend learning beyond the screen.

Kindergarten teacher, Jennifer Sarmento, of Brogden Primary in Dudley, NC films a literacy lesson for Classroom Connection.

The Classroom Connection launch begins with literacy lessons on Tuesday, and repeat lessons on Fridays. In March, math lessons will be added to the schedule on Mondays, with repeats on Thursdays. All of the lessons will be made available on NC DPI’s YouTube channel and on the #GoOpenNC digital repository for teachers and will continue to air through summer, for a total of 96 episodes featuring teachers from across the state. A full list of participating teachers is available below.

PBS North Carolina’s At-Home Learning initiative was developed in response to the disruption to in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative aims to address the educational gap experienced by students and families with limited-to-no access to broadband.

PBS North Carolina and PBS have also curated free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more at Content is organized by grade and subject area and accompanied by tips and techniques for engaging, effective at-home learning. Additionally, special programming curated for sixth through 12th grade students will continue to air on the NC Channel weekdays from 12–5 PM. Children’s programs intended to support the intellectual and emotional development of PreK through third grade students is available on PBS North Carolina’s Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS channel, as well as weekdays during a seven-hour block, from 6:30 AM–1:30 PM, on UNC-TV.

You can find the full list of North Carolina teachers featured in Classroom Connection below, grouped by grade level.

Pre-K & Kindergarten

Amanda Kellogg, Wake County Public School System

Claudia Munoz, Spanish for Fun Academy, Orange County

Grace Munoz, Spanish for Fun Academy, Orange County

Jennifer Sarmento, Wayne County Public Schools

Lauren McDowell, PBS North Carolina

Mallory Mbalia, PBS North Carolina

First & Second Grades

Amanda Gary, Wake County Public School System

Dawn Holland, Wolfpack WORKS, NC State University

Dr. Jill Grifenhagen, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education, NC State University

Elisha Cliette, Wolfpack WORKS, NC State University

Stephanie Ninich, Wake County Public School System

Third Grade

Jasmin Nabors, Durham Public Schools

Robin Hiatt, Johnston County Schools

Shakemia Jones, Durham Public Schools

Shannon Russell, Wolfpack WORKS, NC State University

Thomas Carrington, Carter Community Charter School

Tomika Altman, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Fourth & Fifth Grades

Bria Wright, Wake County Public School System

Diane Hunter, Wake County Public School System

Dr. Ileetha Groom, Wolfpack WORKS, NC State University

Jason Lineberger, Cleveland County Schools

Justin Parmenter, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Robin Carden, Orange County School District

About PBS North Carolina
As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, PBS NC educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit and join the conversation at, and @MyPBSNC on Twitter.

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Media Contact:
Kathleen Kramer, PBS North Carolina Marketing & Communications