CPB has awarded $946,863 to four stations to develop new educational media for grade school and university students as part of its American Graduate initiative.
The awards are for an 18-month to two-year period. Projects will focus on topics such as science and media literacy; one will help university students with autism. Previous American Graduate programs have also funded education and job training.
Connecticut Public received the largest grant of $300,000 for Thinkalong, a project that aims to expand the use of interactive public media. The web-based learning tool will help middle schoolers build debate literacy and critical thinking skills. For the new CPB project, Thinkalong will help curate resources from PBS, NPR and local Connecticut stations in its outreach to middle schoolers, as well as their parents and teachers.
The other grants are:
- $246,863 to WKU Public Broadcasting in Bowling Green, Ky., for “Embracing Differences, Finding Strengths: A Public Broadcasting Model for Autism Inclusion.” The station partnered with licensee Western Kentucky University to establish the David Brinkley Student Employment Fellowship Program for university students with autism spectrum disorder. WKU Public Broadcasting will help students publish content for public media. The project is meant to help promote neurodiversity in the workforce.
- $207,032 to WHYY in Philadelphia for Pathway to Careers, which will create a training program to help 80 students improve media skills and learn how to become freelancers. It builds on WHYY’s Media Labs pilot project to create paid work experiences for high school students. WHYY will also launch an Entrepreneurship Academy to provide a week of training at the end of a summer internship.
- $193,065 to Iowa PBS in Des Moines for a project with teachers to curate a collection of user-generated science content for use in classrooms. Phenomena will be observable science events that students can monitor and learn from.
“Through the successful CPB-funded American Graduate initiative to help young people stay on the path to a high school diploma, we learned that education relevant to students’ interests helps keep them engaged through school and career and ultimately as productive citizens,” said CPB CEO Pat Harrison in a press release. “Public media’s local presence enables them to engage directly with the communities they serve in ways that are responsive to the changing needs of Americans of all ages. These four projects are just a few examples of public media’s commitment to helping the successor generation succeed.”
Correction: A previous story said WHYY’s Media Labs project creates paid work experiences for middle school students. The story has been updated to say that the experiences are for high school students.