WCTE met with representatives of the Highlands Workforce Development and Education Committee to plan a new parental engagement program with Jackson Kayak, a local company, to reach at-risk families in the workplace. Cindy Putman, WCTE’s Ready To Learn Project Manager, is facilitating the educational lunch time parental engagement sessions at Jackson Kayak’s White County plant.
WCTE’s greatest contribution to our community is providing access to free PBS content and resources. These resources are the number one trusted, valued, and relied upon educational content that is relevant to closing the achievement gap. PBS content on-air and online equalizes the playing field for at risk children and their families. WCTE is able to address the issues that occur around lack of family engagement, poverty, and lack of resources by providing free tools for families and caregivers of young learners that give them the tools they need to prepare their children to be ready to learn. Many of these families rely upon viewing our station by antenna, which makes WCTE the number one free educational access channel in our Upper Cumberland viewing area.
The parents who are employed by Jackson Kayak needed support and hands on training to improve their ability to parent their children to help them prepare for school and life. Many of them are single fathers raising their children because the mothers are absent or incarcerated. The 25 parents who attend lunchtime sessions range in age 20-38. Putman has been able to meet with them monthly for mealtime parental training. Each session is centered around PBS KIDS programs, activities, and take-home projects to provide engagement moments with their kids.