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In addition to leading experts in early childhood literacy, guests include children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons and a panel from Fred Rogers Productions. 

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 4/5/2022 — PBS North Carolina welcomes educators to its first annual Impact Early Childhood Education Summit, a free professional development opportunity designed for early childhood educators. The daylong in-person event will be held at UNC Charlotte on Saturday, June 18, from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, with a virtual component available the following week. Registration for in-person and virtual participation begins April 8 at

Attendees will learn new strategies for helping young children (birth to grade 3) grow strong roots in literacy and beyond through presentations and breakout sessions led by early education experts. Teachers will earn a certificate and credit hours, with topics ranging from art and technology integration, educational media and STEM curriculum to equity in education, social-emotional learning, the science of reading and how to partner with parents to support literacy and learning. 

PBS North Carolina is committed to providing all audiences equitable access to learning opportunities. All presentations, breakout sessions and virtual offerings are free. 

PBS North Carolina’s Division of Education Services is thrilled to support educators who nurture our youngest scholars. Children who receive a strong literacy foundation are more likely to thrive in school and in life,” says PBS North Carolina’s Director of Education Mallory Mbalia. 

Keynote speaker Kelly Starling Lyons is an award-winning children’s book author and teaching artist. She is also a founding member of the Brown Bookshelf, which raises awareness of Black voices writing for young readers. Her mission is to center Black heroes, celebrate family, friendship and heritage. She has written more than 20 books for young readers. Among her acclaimed titles are Caldecott Honor winner Going Down Home with Daddy and Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award recipient Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom. She lives in Raleigh and was named to Good Morning America’s 2021 Inspiration List: Who’s Making Black History. 

In addition to literacy experts, several PBS stations and public media entities committed to helping children reach their full potential will be in attendance.A panel from Fred Rogers Productions will discuss how PBS KIDS programs like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Donkey Hodie and Alma’s Way provide a well-rounded, social-emotional curriculum for children ages 2 to 6. Fred Rogers Productions builds on the legacy of television pioneer Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) by creating quality children’s media that models an enthusiasm for learning and earns the trust of parents and caregivers. 

Participating PBS member stations include Alaska Public Media, Detroit Public Television, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Idaho Public Television, PBS Charlotte, PBS Wisconsin, South Carolina ETV, VPM and WHRO Public Media. 

For this summit, PBS North Carolina has partnered with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). DHHS’s Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) has facilitated connections across the state’s early childhood education networks. NCDPI’s Office of Early Learning as well as its Division of Digital Teaching and Learning (DTL) have assisted with strategic planning and breakout sessions and have supported the design of virtual components. They will also provide a light lunch for participants. 

“Our division of Digital Teaching and Learning is proud to partner with PBS North Carolina in supporting literacy in early childhood education. We will share best practices to support adult learners cultivate a love of reading among young children while utilizing age-appropriate technology to improve literacy outcomes for all students,” says NCDPI’s Jill Darrough, Lead Consultant-Section Chief of Digital Teaching and Learning. 

The Impact Early Childhood Education Summit is made possible with support from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development and Early Education, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. 


June 18, 2022, at UNC Charlotte 

  • 8 AM to 4:30 PM
  • 8–9 AM: Check-In
  • 9–10 AM: Morning Session
  • 10–10:45 AM: Keynote Talk by Kelly Starling Lyons
  • 10:45–11 AM: Break & Partner Playground
  • 11 AM–Noon: A Conversation with Fred Rogers Productions 
  • Noon–12:45 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00–1:45 PM: Concurrent Sessions
  • 1:55–2:20 PM: Outdoor Partner Playground
  • 2:30–3:15 PM: Concurrent Sessions
  • 3:30–4:20 PM: Concurrent Sessions
  • 4:20 PM: Block Party in the Courtyard


UNC Charlotte Locations 

  • Popp Martin Student Union
  • College of Education
  • College of Health and Human Services

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 Instagram and Twitter.  


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