In November 2015, WEDU received a very generous $4 million bequest from long-time viewer Phyllis L. Ensign. This was the largest gift in the station’s 58 year history. Mrs. Ensign’s generosity supports a new local community information series and paid station internships, and provides educational equipment and supplies for teacher workshops and community outreach. As WEDU learned more about Mrs. Ensign, it was discovered that she was passionate about volunteering her time to read to children at the local library – and an idea was born! What better way to honor this gracious lady than to create an area, dedicated to Mrs. Ensign, where children and families could read, learn and have fun at their local library using their favorite PBS Kids characters? This was the inspiration behind the WEDU PBS Phyllis L. Ensign Library Corners project. WEDU has committed to donating a minimum of 16 multimedia library corners to libraries throughout the station’s 16-county viewing area in her name.
Development of the WEDU PBS Phyllis L. Ensign Library Corners and WEDU PBS Reading Circle began in the summer of 2016 and the first corner was placed in March 2017. To date, a total of four library corners have been donated to public libraries in four counties of West Central Florida and the selection process has begun to place an additional six over the summer.
LIBRARY CORNERS INCLUDE:
- 1 WEDU PBS library corner reading rug
- 1 library corner bookshelf
- 1 WEDU PBS library corner pop-up banner
- 1 PBS Kids character standee
- 25 PBS Kids lending collection books
- 25 PBS Kids lending collection DVDs
- 2 electronic tablets loaded with PBS Kids game applications
- 1 WEDU PBS Reading Circle kit made up of 6 turnkey activity sessions with materials
- Take-home materials for parents, activity sheets and assorted incentives
- Training for library staff on the WEDU PBS Reading Circle, Florida PBS LearningMedia, PBS Kids Lab and more.
Librarians throughout the WEDU viewing area are invited to submit an online application that includes information on youth programs and populations served and why the library is a good candidate for a WEDU PBS Phyllis L. Ensign Library Corner placement.
TO BE ELIGIBLE:
- Applicant must complete the online application
- Applicant must be part of the public library system within WEDU’s 16 county viewing area
- A minimum of 20% of the applicant’s served audience must be at or below poverty level
- Applicant must attend a training session presented by WEDU PBS
- Selected locations must host a ribbon cutting event in partnership with WEDU PBS
- Selected locations must host scheduled activities utilizing the donated materials a minimum of once per month
- Selected library locations must complete periodic brief online reports
- Selected locations must complete a grant award agreement
WEDU PBS READING CIRCLE
As an educational companion piece to each corner and to augment existing library youth programs, WEDU also created the WEDU PBS Reading Circle made up of six sessions, each highlighting a different PBS Kids character and theme and featuring a book, music video, educational/arts and craft activity and virtual field trip compliments of a wonderful partnership with KidVision PreK, a service of WPBT2.
During each reading circle session, children will listen to a book featuring a PBS Kids character being read aloud, engage in conversation about the book and session’s theme, watch a related music video and participate in a fun arts and craft activity. Families also have the opportunity to extend the learning experience by watching a related KidVision PreK virtual field trip, play related PBS Kids games and take away valuable information from PBS Parents and KidVision PreK to help extend the learning experience into the home. The WEDU PBS Reading Circle program was designed to be very flexible, allowing librarians to arrange and schedule sessions for times that will best fit into existing library story times.
The WEDU PBS Reading Circle Kit includes:
- Six PBS Kids character themed books
- A disk with music videos, virtual field trips, links to PBS Kids games and copies of activities and take-home materials
- Incentives/giveaways for each session
A ribbon-cutting reception is held at each selected library location and features a PBS Kids character meet and greets and free books for children who attend. County and local government officials, library and station board members and the community are invited to join in the fun as they learn more about WEDU and PBS.
Additional library corners will be placed over the next year. WEDU also plans to continue to supply existing placements with new materials and giveaways and will periodically update electronic tables with the latest PBS Kids game applications.