Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit and digital news organizations in the U.S. LTW includes an annual contest and a database (below). LTW produces webinars that offer insights into projects and organizations that are reshaping local civic journalism.
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Ziggy’s Arts Adventure is an LPB digital first educational puppet series for tween viewers and younger. In each episode, a Louisiana artist helps explain academic concepts through the power of Art.
Vegas PBS STEAM Camp is a multi-platform series that fosters positive attitudes and perceptions about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) in children ages 6-8, with a local spin!
“Rise and Shine” brought summer learning to students’ homes. Created in partnership with the AR Dept. of Education and dozens of community orgs, the program combats learning loss in grades K-5.
WHRO’s Early Childhood Education manager, Martha Razor, reads stories to students weekly over Facebook that were submitted in previous years to the WHRO annual Young Storytellers Contest.
The long-running Vegas PBS KIDS Writers Contest presented by Janice Allen was adapted to a broadcast special featuring animation that brought children’s illustrations to life.
ICAN’s Audio Book Tour features diverse contemporary children’s stories to supplement learning in and out of the classroom. The series is engaging, accessible, and a timely resource for families.
EDUCATE is a free, standards-aligned TV channel designed to provide education reinforcement, enrichment opportunities for Pre-K-12 students, in subjects from STEM and ELA to mental/emotional wellness.
Education Counts is a weekly program helping educators learn from other schools in the region, share their successes and challenges with the community, and increase support of education.
“NewsDepth” is a weekly interactive digital series that breaks down the biggest news stories into fun standards-aligned lessons for 4th to 6th-grade students across Ohio.
Ziggy’s Arts Adventure
The main character Ziggy and his friends – members of The Junkyard Band – are the brainchild of a Louisiana artist, Clay Achee, who approached LPB with the desire to share his creation with a wider audience. LPB saw the potential and made an initial investment and developed Ziggy as a digital first 9-episode educational children’s series that uses the power of art, music and storytelling to build critical and creative thinkers and strives to capture the elusive tween audience. To enhance the local impact and align with LPB’s mission, each episode features a special guest artist; everything from musicians, dancers to painters and poets. The series not only educates this demographic about art, it also helps foster a sense of pride in Louisiana and celebrates our culture. Through script development and educational and artistic advisors, LPB ensured the series aligned with the Louisiana Academic & Arts Standards. Studies show that arts education helps children succeed in academics, but arts programs are often the first to get eliminated.
LPB believes Ziggy’s Arts Adventure is a trusted and effective resource that educators and parents alike will use to help spark a love of the arts and facilitate learning. Marketing of the series began 6-weeks out & included digital billboards that progressively introduced the characters along with a robust social media campaign including TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram content. Select influencers were invited to view tapings and the guest artists themselves all helped spread awareness and generate excitement on social media. A Ziggy mini-site was created on lpb.org, which helped introduce new viewers to other LPB programs and events. LPB created a YouTube channel just for Ziggy’s Arts Adventure ensuring that the viewing experience remains in a safe space that parents can trust.
To kick-off the digital premiere, LPB partnered with Baton Rouge’s main public library to hold a special community outreach event with live music from Ziggy and his band. The premiere event also included a sneak peek at the first two episodes and free lemonade to help everyone beat the Louisiana heat. Fans also got a chance to meet Ziggy and the gang. While Ziggy himself is definitely one-of-a-kind, LPB believes that any station considering development of original children’s programs can benefit by leaning into their local arts and education communities and consider a digital first pathway as a way to attract the teen and tween audience.
Although our series has only been released to the public for three weeks, LPB has seen and received positive response to this project from viewers across the state. The three episodes released on YouTube have seen a total of 3,300 views with almost 160 hours watched. Despite the blistering temperatures of Louisiana in August, nearly 200 families attended our premiere community event. On social media, the engagement numbers since the premiere on August 2 have been encouraging with more than 1,000 total engagements on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. TikTok is where we really pursued our intended audience. We have 1,835 likes on videos. Some have well over 1000 plays with good engagement from people around the country and world.
In the Fall of 2021, a selection of schools from diverse backgrounds across the state will participate in a focus study of the show’s impact on learners in the classroom. At least 200 students from no less than five schools in different regions around the state will take pre- and post-tests before and after watching all nine episodes of the show in class. Questions will look to measure comprehension of specific show content like contrast, sound, and composition. The show’s goals will be considered met if at least 65% of student viewers show growth in their pre-to-post test results.
During our community event, support sold Ziggy t-shirts for a total of $720 and held an exclusive meet & greet with Ziggy for our Kids Club members. This amplified the value for existing memberships and enticed new families to join at the event for a total of $250. For August pledge, viewers were treated to the broadcast premiere of the first 3 episodes with special Q & A pledge breaks, earning additional revenue. Underwriting secured for a total of $15,000. All this within 3 weeks of launch.