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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNC-TV EXPANDS ITS AT-HOME LEARNING INITIATIVE WITH NC DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, WILL FEATURE MATH & LITERACY LESSONS FROM NORTH CAROLINA TEACHERS

Phase II of At-Home Learning Begins February

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 12/16/2020 — In its continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina announced today that it is partnering with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) and the William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation to further expand its At-Home Learning initiative for remote education.

UNC-TV's At-Home Learning initiative was developed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to serve students and families with limited-to-no access to broadband. It addresses the educational gap by providing curriculum-based lessons over its broadcast channels, with supplemental online resources. With many North Carolina schools likely to continue remote learning into the spring, the initiative will build upon the success of Phase I, which began with two blocks of standards-aligned PBS content airing each weekday on UNC-TV's North Carolina Channel.

For Phase II of At-Home Learning, UNC-TV will collaborate with NC DPI and the Friday Institute to broadcast math and literacy-focused lessons and activities for students in Pre-K through third grade, as part of a new programing block, Classroom Connection.

Classroom Connection will feature PBS KIDS favorites alongside North Carolina educators. This short-form learning series will deliver engaging math and literacy lessons with North Carolina teachers, aimed at Pre-K through third grade students to support their at-home learning. The Classroom Connection programming block will be available over the air on UNC-TV's main channel beginning in February and streamed online at unctv.org/ahl. Lessons will also be made available on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Digital Teaching and Learning YouTube channel and the #GoOpenNC digital repository.

Phase II will also include the launch of Teacher Time, a series of short-form STEM activities for early learners presented by North Carolina teachers. Teacher Time is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

The broadcast content will be supported by a robust collection of online resources and activities on UNC-TV's website to deepen learning and engagement for students. These supplementary resources, as well as more information on the At-Home Learning initiative, can be found at unctv.org/ahl.

“We are thrilled to be able to work alongside our statewide partners to expand on our offerings in support of North Carolina students as they adapt to new learning approaches during the pandemic. It has been a real honor to tap into the talented educators from across the state to bring our television classroom to life through Classroom Connection and Teacher Time. It is our greatest hope that through our expansive statewide broadcast reach we will devotedly serve and impact all young learners but especially those who lack access to broadband in our state,” said Joy Potts, Director of Children’s Media and Education Services at UNC-TV.

Dr. Angie Mullennix, Director of K-12 Academics and Innovation Strategy at NC DPI, echoed Potts’ enthusiasm. “I couldn’t be more excited for the equitable learning opportunity that the At Home Learning project brings to our students across North Carolina. With many students in a partial or full remote setting, the AHL teacher-generated lessons will be high quality, standards-based instruction for caregivers and teachers. I am thankful for our many partnerships that helped to make this vision become a reality.”

"Supporting the NC literacy and math teachers as part of the partnership with NC Department of Public Instruction and UNC-TV is an honor for us. We're inspired by the teachers' commitment to designing and delivering high-quality lessons in a broadcast format, especially for those students who may not have access to the internet," said Dr. Hiller Spires, Executive Director of the Friday Institute and Associate Dean at NC State University's College of Education.

UNC-TV and PBS have also curated free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more at unctv.pbslearningmedia.org. 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 on the NC Channel weekdays from 12–5 PM and children’s programs intended to support the intellectual and emotional development of PreK through third grade students is available on UNC-TV'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.

About UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina
As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, UNC-TV 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—UNC-TV PBS & More, 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, UNC-TV serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit unctv.org and join the conversation at facebook.com/publicmediaNC, instagram.com/publicmediaNC and @publicmediaNC on Twitter.

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Media Contact:
Kathleen Kramer, UNC-TV Marketing & Communications
kkramer@unctv.org
919-549-7059