Local that Works

Local that Works is an annual contest that spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations, and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S.

Explore the curated LTW database of 350+ projects. Entries from the 2020 contest will be added to this database this fall.

Tips on using the database: If viewing this on a computer, all projects are listed in the left column. Click on a project name and its longer profile will appear in the right column. If viewing on mobile, clicking on a project name will load the full listing on your screen.

You can filter your results by selecting a tag or multiple tags in the categories drop down menu and clicking on search. If you want to change, broaden or narrow the results, make sure to uncheck categories for subsequent searches.

To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semi-finalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorite projects will show up in the left column.

Get inspired!

75 results found.

Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars

PBS Wisconsin

PBS Wisconsin shares the voices and talents of students of color involved in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Scholarship program in the documentary “Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars.” By addressing local disparities in accessibility, representation, and education, we help Wisconsin educators be better prepared to implement culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms.

The Learning Space

Maine Public

“The Learning Space” is an educational program created by Maine Public in partnership with the Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine. It is geared toward students in grades 3-5 and their teachers, and is intended to help bridge the gap for students without reliable internet access during COVID-19. It aired on Maine Public’s primary television channel and reached more than 180,000 people per episode, or roughly 90 classrooms.

New Jersey Sustainability Reporting Project

CivicStory

The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting project – a state wide news collaborative spearheaded by CivicStory – generates local news stories about sustainability issues and actions required to resolve our climate crises. Through 6-month fellowships, early to mid-career journalists report for diverse New Jersey newsrooms, and help citizens shift from day-to-day thinking to longer-term consideration of the needs, health, and wellbeing of future generations.

Podcasting 101 / Queen City PodQuest Academy

WFAE 90.7 FM (Charlotte's NPR News Source)

As part of its newly-formed Queen City PodQuest Academy program, WFAE offered free “Podcasting 101” classes. Over the course of 10 weeks, students gained an understanding of the fundamentals of podcasting, production skills and marketing tips, and walked away with a resource list for the future. Of the 500 people who attended the classes, 30 went on to attend the Queen City PodQuest Academy for in-depth training and lessons. WFAE believes in the power of podcasting to amplify diverse voices, remove barriers to storytelling, and to build and connect communities. We want to help Charlotte area residents tap into the power of podcasting to tell their own unique stories.

CareerExplore Northwest

KSPS PBS

CareerExplore Northwest is an educational initiative created by KSPS PBS as a workforce development solution for our viewing region. Far beyond a typical job search website, it helps students and adults discover viable career paths by providing behind-the-scenes videos and easily accessible answers to questions about in-demand jobs in the Spokane region and what it takes to get them.

Radio Milwaukee – Grace Weber’s Music Lab

WYMS 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Grace Weber’s Music Lab (GWML) is a free monthly music education program and talent accelerator for Milwaukee area high schoolers, providing opportunities to refine performance skills; build connections between engaged and talented young people; expose participants to the multiple career opportunities available in creative industries; and to participate in performances and talks by professional musicians, entertainment industry professionals and artists. This program is critical to meeting the growing and changing needs of our city and youth – Grace Weber’s Music Lab reaches kids with art forms that are increasingly relevant and central to their lives, including diverse music from hip-hop to alternative to spoken word.

Valley PBS Local Learning

KVPT Valley PBS

In partnership with Fresno Unified School District, the 3rd largest in the state of California and a district with 90% economically disadvantaged and diverse students living below the poverty line without equal access to online learning, Valley PBS created an on-air program from 8am – 9am each day that targets Literacy Lessons for K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders and is taught by FUSD teachers. Students have been able to learn and review fundamentals over-the-air, streaming on Facebook Live daily and on the website since June and lessons are translated into Spanish and Hmong as well; the program has just been extended until December 18th and expanded to include Pre-K and T-K lessons.

A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools (2019 Finalist)

Voice of San Diego

A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools is a free “consumer report” tool, distributed to 50,000 families to aid parents in making decisions about their childrens’ education. The Guide, produced in English and Spanish, provides an overview of every local public school’s performance in easy-to-read charts, with answers to basic questions about public school options. VOSD works UC San Diego to analyze the school performance data and with the San Diego Workforce Partnership to cover topics like vocational training. Read Current’s coverage of this project.

Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars

PBS Wisconsin
2021
Public TV
Kira Story
kira.story@pbswisconsin.org

Minority youth in Wisconsin and elsewhere face immense barriers to success in education and, in particular, music education. Noticing both a challenge and an opportunity in our service area, PBS Wisconsin embarked on a multifaceted collaboration to address issues of accessibility and representation in our state.

Through its Young Performers Initiative (YPI), PBS Wisconsin celebrates young people in the arts across the state and works with partners to support and advance music education. PBS Wisconsin realized that YPI could and should play a larger role in efforts to engage underserved youth in music education.

We reached out to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Scholars program, which provides students who excel in hip-hop, dance, song, spoken word, and/or other urban art forms with a four-year full tuition scholarship. We wanted to collaborate with First Wave to develop new educational opportunities for students and educators, and to create a documentary to share First Wave with our viewing audience.

In 2016-17, PBS Wisconsin sponsored 78 music educators to attend First Wave’s annual Hip-Hop in the Heartland conference. We also gathered data to help us understand disconnects in music programming. We knew some educators were already doing inclusion work well and this group helped us create video content to demonstrate how others could successfully incorporate similar culturally relevant frameworks in their own classrooms.

Over the course of 2017, PBS Wisconsin documented the personal stories and performances of First Wave participants and featured them in “Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars.” We first shared this documentary with our broadcast audience of 500,000 weekly viewers on Sept. 24, 2018, and believe it helped give Wisconsinites a starting point for conversations about equality, diversity, and social change during a time of increased racial tensions in our country.

In the years since, the partnership has continued to expand and deepen. PBS Wisconsin has both hired and helped produce work by former students.

Additionally, we have sponsored 78 educators to attend UW’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives’ annual conference. Each of these educators interacts with up to 100 different students per week, depending on the number of classes they teach. Many of their students come from underserved communities and diverse populations who may not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with a teacher practicing culturally responsive pedagogy in the classroom.

https://pbswisconsin.org/hiphopu/