Thursday, December 9, 2004

Caring For Your Satellite Equipment Over the Holidays

Taking good care of your satellite receiving equipment is absolutely imperative in order to make sure that your school can make the best use of GPB programming. That's why it's important that you take the time to shut down your equipment properly before leaving for winter break. Below are some simple instructions on how to leave your equipment before you leave school this December.

* Leave the satellite dish (antenna) pointed at AMC 3, GPB's new satellite location
* Leave the Chaparral receiver and Digiciphers plugged in
* Leave the Chaparral with the power on. It does not matter whether the Digicipher has the red power light activated (controlled by the sat/tv button) as long as all the units are plugged in and getting electrical power. (Without electrical power they eventually lose all the software pre-programmed into them).
* Post a large sign on the equipment asking people not to disconnect, unplug, turn off, or otherwise tamper with your equipment

These safe-keeping practices are good not only at winter break, but rather should be used any time your satellite equipment will go unused for an extended period of time. Be sure to look for our helpful tips on starting up your satellite equipment in the January issue of Pipeline.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

The Bus Stopped Here: GPEE Recognizes Schools of Excellence

This year Georgia Public Broadcasting was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education's 12th Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia. The trip took us to fourteen exemplary schools located all around the state and representing a variety of approaches to educational excellence. Each of these schools proudly presented its own special recipe for success, which most often included a mix of strong leadership, innovative and research-based pedagogical techniques, and family and community involvement. We were so impressed with what we saw in these schools and systems that we would like to take this opportunity to recognize each of them.


Samuel E. Hubbard Elementary School - Monroe County Schools
Principal: Angela S. Dillon

This elementary school in Forsyth, Georgia serves 885 students, of whom more than half receive free and reduced lunches. Its areas of excellence include both the use of data to improve teaching and learning, and the development of strong community partnerships that support education. Samuel E. Hubbard Elementary School administrators rely heavily on both the school and the county's Continuous Improvement Plan, designed to attain high student achievement and success, develop organization effectiveness, and ensure student and stakeholder engagement and loyalty. Principal Dillon and her staff meet the demands of this plan by collecting and disaggregating data, which allows them to isolate populations that are having difficulty and develop strategies for improvement that are unique to those particular groups' needs. Support from an active Parent Teacher Organization and such initiatives as the Parent Volunteer and Mentoring Programs complement the school's focus on academic performance to create a learning environment that prepares its children to be successful.

Byron Middle School - Peach County Schools
Principal: Dr. Ken Banter

Byron Middle School, located in Byron, Georgia, is one of 26 schools named by State Superintendent Kathy Cox as a school of excellence. Byron Middle School displays its commitment to education in no uncertain terms in its mission statement - which outlines goals ranging from academic and behavioral excellence to character development to the fostering of students' later active and successful membership in society. One of the initiatives that composes Byron Middle's stellar education program is Project Winning Team, a grant-funded program designed to meet the needs of special needs students using an inclusion model and team teaching - that means Byron's special needs students have the opportunity to learn in the regular classroom setting with not one, but two teachers, one of whom is certified in interrelated special education. Another program that sets Byron Middle School apart is its Educational Talent Search, which provides those students with strong potential to go on to post-secondary education with the tools they need to succeed, such as needs assessment, academic and personal counseling, financial aid assistance, and tutoring. With projects such as these addressing the needs of its various populations, it is no wonder that Byron Middle School has exceeded the state averages on the CRCT for the last three years in a row.

Houston County High School
Principal: Sheila Beckham

The largest school we visited by far, Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Georgia may sound familiar to many of you; it is highlighted in a special student-produced video currently airing on the GPB Education satellite. HCHS has gained not only state, but national recognition as well for integrating technology into every aspect of the education process - in virtually every imaginable subject. Classrooms at HCHS are equipped with interactive boards, Star panels, classroom performance systems, and wireless laptops. Much of the technology that enhances the instruction at HCHS is provided by strategic partnerships with organizations such as Intel and Hitachi. Technology at Houston County High School is not only a medium for teaching, though; it is also a subject for learning. The school's midi lab is equipped with software that allows students to practice music notation, learn music theory, and compose their own music. Students in the woods program use sophisticated software to create the blueprints they use to build complicated pieces like furniture. No matter what the subject area, HCHS has found a way to integrate technology into its teaching, resulting in students that are more engaged AND better prepared to participate in an increasingly technological job market.

Wilkinson County Primary/Elementary School
Principal: Donna Poole

Wilkinson County Primary/Elementary School serves nearly 900 children, of whom almost two-thirds are eligible for free and reduced lunch; of those economically disadvantaged children, 13 percent earned a rating of exceeds on the CRCTs. Wilkinson demonstrates the important correlation between having a well-developed professional learning community and student success. Principal Poole has developed strong partnerships with Oconee RESA and Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement, which have allowed for the development of a school Design Team that guides the school's instructional system based on data analysis and research. The Design Team has implemented the Direct instruction method of teaching reading - the subject on which every student spends the first 85 minutes of his or her day. Reading skills are taught in conjunction with Writer's Workshop, a program that teaches effective written expression skills while enriching students' language development. Wilkinson Primary/Elementary maintains its standard of excellence achieved through these programs by utilizing available data about student performance and evaluating the effectiveness of school programs on a continual basis.

D. D. Crawford Primary School
Principal: Roy Wilcher

Crawford Primary's mission is "Building the Future One Child At a Time," and it serves each of its 250 children, all of whom are on free and reduced lunch, with a comprehensive tutorial program. Teachers and support staff all receive regular training on how to identify student needs and provide instruction tailored to address them. Crawford collects and analyzes data on student performance to determine which students are in need of special assistance. Students selected to participate in the tutorial program have access to small group instruction led by paraprofessionals on a daily basis; tutorial sessions are aligned with the curriculum taught in the regular classroom. This collaboration between teachers and tutors has brought clear and impressive results. This year, 100 percent of Crawford's kindergarten class achieved the level of "Ready for First Grade" on the Georgia Kindergarten Assessment Program. Over 90 percent of first graders scored "exceeds" on the 2004 CRCTs in the areas of reading, language arts, and math. In addition to its strong academic program, students at Crawford Primary also have the support of an involved community that gives of its time and money to help them succeed.

A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School
Principal: Deborah Walker

A.R. Johnson High School offers those students who have always wanted to be doctors or engineers the opportunity to start their professional training before they even get to college. Partnerships with health and engineering facilities such as the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta Technical College allow students to explore real-life problems through hands-on experience. Local professional volunteers also share their expertise with students through internships, shadowing/ apprenticeships, and school-to-work programs. In addition to the career courses students in the magnet courses take, A.R. Johnson provides top quality instruction in the regular curriculum. One hundred percent of students passed the language arts, math, and social studies portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test. Ninety-seven percent of students exceeded the passing scores in science and writing and the school's average SAT score has topped the state and national averages for three years running. With every student who graduates from A.R. Johnson's magnet program receiving a college preparatory seal, it is a logical choice for students who would like to go on work in healthcare or engineering.

Thomson Elementary School
Principal: Dr. Donald Davis

Thomson Elementary School puts reading first, involving every single faculty member in its TES Reading initiative in either a support or a teaching capacity. The program includes three hours of reading instruction in both large and small groups, and employs a comprehensive approach to teaching reading that covers phonemic awareness, explicit phonics, fluency, vocabulary instruction, constructing meaning from text, guided reading, and the motivation to read. Every Pre K through third grade child is enrolled in the reading program, whose effectiveness is documented through a series of assessments such as Accelerated Readers reports, Anywhere Learning Systems, Comprehensive Reading Tests, and the Basic Literary Test. Student success is regularly rewarded with some form of public recognition, whether it is a badge that reflects their level of success in the reading program, a mention during the morning announcements, or an acknowledgement at the regular assemblies where certificates of achievement are awarded. The combination of intense instruction and consistent recognition of student efforts has yielded solid results; ninety-eight percent of students graduating from Thomson Elementary either meeting or exceeding state reading standards.


Meadowview Elementary School
Principal: Zandra Sherwood

This year round school has earned recognition for its achievement in standards-based learning in math and reading. Principal Sherwood has cultivated a staff that more than meets the No Child Left Behind Act's standard for teacher qualification: she only hires teachers who hold a Master's Degree or higher. The View, as members of the Meadowview community refer to it, employs the Reading First program, which provides every student in grades one through three with three uninterrupted hours of reading instruction. Teachers utilize a fusion of strategies, ranging from text reading and writing workshops to vocabulary and print conventions - all of these methods are based on state, national, and international competency standards. Math at Meadowview teaches students to solve real world problems, reason effectively, and make logical connections. The use of songs, wireless remote controlled math trivia games, and dance make the learning of basic concepts fun for students. Meadowview is producing students that not only achieve academically, but also love learning and take pride their school.

Monroe Primary School
Principal: Donna Bishop

The exemplary initiatives at Monroe Primary School are almost too many to count. EDNA Goble Guided Reading program offers every student 45 minutes of leveled reading, which means that they are grouped with other students based on their reading ability for that portion of the day so that their specific needs can be addressed. Mathematics is also taught for 45 minutes each day in groups organized according to skill level. Monroe Primary's teachers have an average of 15 years of teaching experience and Principal Bishop is an active participant in Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement. All staff members have received training in Learning Focus Strategies, which use essential questions, rubrics for assessments, and daily writing to help students achieve. The innovative programs at Monroe are all part of a larger comprehensive school design, which incorporates research and best practices to prepare students for entry into upper elementary school.

Gainesville Elementary School (GES)
Principal: Shawn McCollough

Part of the mission at Gainesville Elementary is "expecting and celebrating excellence." Expectations of teachers are high. Disaggregated performance data is regularly posted on a website that anyone can access - and it is listed by individual class so that every teacher is held publicly accountable for the successes or difficulties his or her students are having. Students at GES benefit from cross grade teaming, which allows them to rotate between four different teachers who each specialize in reading, language arts, math, and test preparation, thereby allowing them access to the highest quality instruction in each subject area. GES addresses the needs of its diverse population, of whom 90 percent qualify as high poverty and nearly 70 percent are ESOL students, with an extended school day for low performing students that gives them extra training on basic skills in reading, language arts, and math. GES also reaches out to the parents of immigrant children with a Family Literacy Program that allows parents to attend classes during the school day to learn how to read. The high standards of excellence in place at Gainesville Elementary in combination with partnerships with organizations such as NASA and Even Start Family Literacy ensure its students not only have an equal opportunity to learn, but also that they achieve to the highest levels.

Jack P. Nix Primary School (JPN)
Principal: Jennifer King

Principal King has been very proactive in adopting programs and seeking grants that bring the students at Jack P. Nix Primary the best in resources and instruction. The school makes use of the Four Blocks of Literacy Program and incorporates guided reading, independent reading, writing and phonemic skills into literacy instruction. As part of the Learn and Serve Grant, students at JPN write and publish books for pre-school aged children in the local community; this initiative allows the students to develop literacy skills while also other young learners get ready to learn. Students receive a well-rounded education that incorporates art, music and drama into daily classroom activities in addition to the special art and music classes they attend each week. The program of study at JPN is paying off in terms of student achievement. In 2003-2004, 98 percent of kindergarteners were assessed as being ready for first grade through the Georgia Kindergarten Assessment Program. Over 80 percent of first and second graders met or exceeded expectations in the reading, language arts, and mathematics portions of the CRCT. One of the most impressive figures JPN has to offer is the number of books its students read through the Accelerated Reader Program; last year alone, JPN students read a total of 46,479 books! Jack P. Nix is doing a great job of laying the foundations that its students need to continue on into upper elementary school with the tools they need for success.

Lumpkin County High School (LCHS)
Principal: Rudy Hampton

Lumpkin County High School is striving to be a Georgia High School of Distinction, and the progress it has made in the last four years is impressive. Since 2001, the average SAT score has risen a full 72 points to 1053, which means that more students from LCHS are graduating with the knowledge they need to enter college. For students who are not on the college track, LCHS has a relevant and rigorous vocational education department, which allows them the opportunity to learn job skills that will help them to begin working after graduation in such fields as agriculture, automotives, business, and healthcare and science technology. There is also an extensive fine arts program that allows students to use their talents to express themselves artistically through music, art, and drama. Lumpkin County High School is able to give its students even more opportunities through community partnerships with organizations like Pioneer RESA, Lanier Technical School, and the U.S. Forest Service, which join with area businessmen and women to share their resources and expertise with learners at LCHS.

Chattahoochee Technical College
President: Dr. Harlon Crimm

Chattahoochee Technical College is working with area high schools in Cobb County, Paulding County, and Marietta City to provide students with an interest in pursuing technical education with a seamless opportunity to learn. Through Chattahoochee Tech's High School Dual Enrollment Program, more than 1,400 students are currently learning important skills that give them both high school and college credit. Students wishing to participate must pass all three parts of the ASSET test and meet regular requirements for admission, which means "program ready." This opportunity allows high school students to get a head start on their technical education and to receive job training in occupational areas with strong growth trends. Students with technical college certificates have access to increased job opportunities that they can either choose for full time employment or undertake part-time as they continue their education.

Chapel Hill Middle School (CHMS)
Principal: Bill Foster

Chapel Hill Middle School was named in 2003-2003 as a Model School in Georgia. Since that time, it has continued to use a combination of school improvement planning and the utilization of data to surpass academic standards of excellence. Each year Principal Foster leads his faculty in the development of the school improvement plan, which sets academic goals based on CRCT scores at each grade level. Additional goals are set in math, reading, and language arts in accordance with and measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Chapel Hill's mission is to develop the whole child, so faculty and staff focus not only on academics, but also on students' physical, social, and emotional development. CHMS has developed a strong culture of accountability and achievement, where every student is committed to giving 100 % of their efforts each school day. Student performance is regularly measured, using both objective and subjective assessments, offering students a variety of opportunities and learning experiences. For 2002-2003, CHMS showed a nine percent increase of students passing the reading portion of the CRCT, a 14% increase in language arts, and a 10% increase in math. An impressive 100% of students surpassed writing expectations, ranking CHMS within the top 10% of middle schools in Georgia. Students at Chapel Hill Middle have access to the best that education can offer, and their continued achievement reflects the hard work and planning of both teachers and administrators.

There are a great many different qualities that set each of these schools apart as schools of excellence - there is no perfect formula that guarantees success. One thing that each school we visited on the Bus Trip have in common is strong leadership with a commitment to improving student achievement. Please join Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education in saluting these leaders and the work they are doing to help Georgia students achieve.

GPB Takes You To the Fabulous Fox

In the last two issues of Pipeline, we have told you about our upcoming documentary, The Fabulous Fox, which celebrates the 75th Anniversary of Atlanta's Fox Theater. We are pleased to announce that is has arrived - and will be airing both on television and via satellite so that your students can take advantage of the unique combination of history and art that it offers. The ninety-minute documentary takes viewers on a journey through the history and evolution of the Fox from temple to theater. It will examine each of the fascinating facets of the building, including the famous organ, the backstage, secret rooms, and of course, the amazing architecture and d├ęcor.

A second documentary, entitled This Old Movie Palace, is also premiering this month. This program examines the struggle the Fox Theater has had to remain intact amidst the growth and development of downtown Atlanta. The Fox was saved from destruction during the 1970's and returned to it's original condition through painstaking restoration. This Old Movie Palace takes you behind the scenes of those preservation efforts and is accompanied by an extensive educational curriculum that addresses both the historical and the artistic features of the story of the Fox Theater.

Look for both of these great new documentaries on Channel 420; see listings for air dates and times. And don't forget to check out the fabulous online resources at

As a special holiday treat, GPB is offering you the chance to experience the magnificence of the Fox Theater in person! On Sunday, December 26, The Fox theater will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a full day of live shows, movies, and fun activities. The public is invited to rediscover the Fox Theater and journey through the history of the famous theater. Celebrations will include a replication of the 1929 opening day variety show, several screenings of Georgia Public Broadcasting's Fabulous Fox documentary, a 17-piece orchestra and singers, and free dance lessons as well as arts and crafts for children and adults. Join GPB and the Fox Theater from 1-7 PM on December 26 to celebrate the magnificent theater that has become an icon of Atlanta history.

Monday, December 6, 2004

GPB and DOE: A Partnership for Education

Georgia Public Broadcasting is proud to announce our partnership with the Georgia Department of Education's Department of Information Technology. For many years now, both GPB and DOE have been developing strategies for enhancing education in Georgia through technology - and we are pleased at last to join our efforts to come up with the best solutions that can be implemented on a statewide scale. We are working very closely with Dr. Mike Hall, Deputy Superintendent of Information Technology and former principal of Houston County High School, a nationally recognized school of excellence.

During his tenure at Houston County High, Dr. Hall forged partnerships with Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Gateway, Dell, and Hitachi that helped equip the school with more than 1,200 computers, a wireless network with 13 wireless labs, and nine fixed computer labs. Since he joined the Department of Education, Dr. Hall has already begun creating smart technology partnerships that will benefit every school in the state. Georgia Public Broadcasting's satellite and video streaming infrastructure make us a natural partner to help Dr. Hall and DOE bring technology into every Georgia classroom.

After an initial meeting, GPB and DOE are planning to collaborate to produce a regular satellite and web-delivered program featuring State Superintendent Kathy Cox discussing the accomplishments of schools around the state and sharing news about projects the Department of Education is currently undertaking. The program may also feature Superintendent Cox having discussions with other education figures from the state and the nation in a magazine format.

Georgia Public Broadcasting has also agreed to post timely messages about training opportunities, standards roll outs, educator requirements, and other DOE news on our electronic bulletin boards - both on satellite and on the web. You should begin seeing these communications within the coming months.

GPB has been maximizing our training capacity through the use of distance learning technology like webcasts for several years now. Our newly established partnership with DOE will allow them to make use of that technology as well, enabling them to reach the widest possible audience of educators for training and the sharing of best practices. GPB plans to join DOE as they travel across the state to document best practices and capture them on video to be repurposed for instructional webcasts.

Look for more information about these offerings in upcoming issues of Pipeline. You can also watch a special video production by the students of Houston County High School on GPB satellite. The video, which documents the way technology is transforming teaching and learning at Houston County High, will give you a glimpse of the possibilities that partnerships such as this and others Dr. Hall is pursuing hold for your classroom. See the listings for air dates and times.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

State of the Arts Reaches Out to Educators

As you saw in the September issue of Pipeline, Georgia Public Broadcasting Television and Education recently collaborated to produce a brand new program called State of the Arts. The program, which premiered in June, features a variety of art forms and artists across Georgia. The second installment of the quarterly program was released in October, and covered the following topics:

* The Morris Museum
* Jack Leigh, Savannah photographer
* The Color Purple
* Atlanta Ballet
* West African Drumming
* The Fabulous Fox Theater
* The Funky Chicken Arts Project

The first and second episodes of the program may be streamed online at or recorded from satellite on Channel 420. See the listings for air dates and times.

GPB recently launched a special "For Educators" section on the State of the Arts website. This site allows educators to link to additional resources about the pieces, places, and artists explored in the show. Depending on the suitability of the topic, the format of these resources will range from direct Internet links to existing educational materials, to links to Georgia arts and cultural institutions, to lesson plans enriching the elements of the written word with video and audio clips from the show, and to material commissioned from leaders in Georgia's arts and education community. Look for connections to the Cherokee Indians in Georgia as part of the Betty Foy Sanders segment, lesson plans on the Science and Art of pottery for the Mark of the Potter and Dale Chihuly segments, Music and Language Arts lesson plans for West African Drumming, background information from The Atlanta Ballet, and much more.

All of the educational resources selected for the site are based upon the state and national curriculum standards and include a method for measuring student learning. In developing these resources, GPB has collaborated with Georgia's existing arts and education organizations whenever possible.

Educators, parents, and students are encouraged to make multiple visitors to the State of the Arts website at to view the dynamic addition of educational material and resources.

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Join the Campaign to Protect Georgia's Children

Georgia Public Broadcasting recently had the privilege of hosting the 2nd Annual First Lady's Summit on Our Children, an event sponsored by Georgia First Lady Mary Perdue and designed to galvanize community resources on behalf of Georgia's abused and neglected children. The Summit was held at the Georgia Public Broadcasting facility in Atlanta and simulcast to seven regional sites, including Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Savannah, and Tifton, which held workshops simultaneously.

Mrs. Perdue, who said she was "inspired by the response the Our Children Campaign has received since the first annual Summit held at GPB in 2003," declared that the goal behind the Our Children Campaign is "to raise awareness about these children" and that the highest priority is to determine how to "provide for, educate, and protect our children."

According to the Protective Services Data System Report, Georgia received 92,612 reports of child abuse in 2003 alone. Of the cases that were determined to valid instances of child abuse, 39, 538 were victims of severe neglect, 4, 791 were physically abused, and 2,285 were sexually abused ( As of July 2003, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services was responsible for the care of 14,481 children, of whom 7,925 were in foster care ( A final sobering fact, according to Kids Count, is that Georgia ranks 40 out of 50 states in overall child well being ( Statistics such as these make the important work Mrs. Perdue is conducting through the Our Children Campaign even more valuable.

With the goal of helping Georgia's children squarely in mind, the 2nd Annual Summit began with a welcome from Georgia Public Broadcasting Interim Executive Director Nancy Hall, each of the regional sites, First Lady Mary Perdue, and Governor Sonny Perdue. After welcoming remarks, a video entitled The 11th Commandment with singer Collin Raye, of ChildHelp USA was shown. Guest speaker Naomi Haines Griffith then shared her personal comments about the state of child welfare and the need for initiatives such as the First Lady's Our Children Campaign.

After remarks were concluded, participants broke out into work groups, which focused on raising support from community groups in the following key areas:

* Prevention
* Department of Family and Children's Services and the Courts
* Housing and Services
* Foster and Adoptive Parents

Once the groups completed their work, all of the Summit participants came together to share their suggestions for better ways to secure support for Georgia's children and to hear Mrs. Perdue's charge to action.

To date, the Campaign has received commitments from 29 Champions for Children, corporations and faith communities that have made an obligation to their community or organization to volunteer on behalf of any become involved with the cause of children in state custody. If you would like to learn more about the plight of Georgia's abused and neglected children and how YOU can make a difference in their lives, watch the 2nd Annual Summit online at or contact the Campaign at

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Presenting Russian History - Through the Eyes of Its Children

Georgia Public Broadcasting is pleased to partner with the Youth Art Connection of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, which is sponsoring a special exhibition that celebrates children's art. "Russia's Heart Through Children's Eyes: A Century of Youth Art," belongs to the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and features Russian children's art spanning 100 years.

The exhibit, which will be at the Woodruff Art Center's Center Space Gallery from October 6-31, offers Georgia educators and learners a unique opportunity to view Russian history - from the Tsarist and Soviet Periods to present day - through the eyes of its children. During the first week of the exhibit, special guests from the State Russian Museum, the St. Petersburg Children's Arts Coordinating Council, and the St. Petersburg Institute for Cultural Programs will offer workshops and seminars for both art educators and the public.

A second exhibit, which features contemporary works from the Russian Museum will be exhibited in the Youth Art Connection Gallery, Atlanta's only gallery dedicated entirely to children's art and education. This exhibit will include the "My Home Town" book of paintings produced by young St. Petersburg and Atlanta artists in 2002.

Georgia Public Broadcasting is committed to supporting the integration of arts across the curriculum. Recognizing that the limited duration of the exhibit will prevent many Georgia students and educators from benefiting from its unique combination of art and world history, GPB has committing to developing a virtual tour of the exhibit so that its impact can reach every interested Georgia learner. The tour, which will offer digital images of the art in combination with audio and video of discussions between Russian scholars and other arts leaders about the artworks and their historical context, will be available for video streaming so that it can be accessed on demand via the GPB Education website.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to offer your students to learn about the way that children across time have expressed their experiences through art and to encourage them to examine their own lives and surroundings through an artistic lens. For more information on the exhibit, contact Rebecca Des Marais, Director of Youth Art Connection at or Barbara O'Brien, GPB Education Project Manager at

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Becoming Part of the Solution Voting - The Focus of 2004 Civics Month

November 2004 will be a time when the American people decide the course of the future on the local, state, and national levels through exercising one of their most basic civic duties: VOTING. In celebration of the right to vote and in recognition of the grave responsibility that accompanies that right, Georgia's Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) has named October Civics Month. The SOS Office has partnered with organizations such as the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Public Broadcasting, the Youth Leadership Institute of the University of Virginia, and the Georgia Project for Active Civic Education (Georgia PACE), to develop resources to support Georgia students and teachers as they explore the meaning of civics during Civics Month:

* Secretary of State's Office - Providing the official Civics Month website, including articles, primary resources, materials, lesson plans, activities, and Mock Election information for students - lesson plans and other resources also provided by the Georgia Council for the Social Studies and Georgia PACE
* Department of Education - Providing links to lesson plans, resources, and activities
* Georgia Public Broadcasting - Providing video content designed to support the teaching of civics and government courses in the classroom to be aired via satellite and via the Internet
* Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) - Conducting the online voting for the 2004 Mock Election
* Georgia PACE - Providing student input on ballot questions and debate questions as well as recruiting student leaders from each school to assist teachers with the Civics Month activities and the Mock Election

Many of these resources, such as the web and video components, will be available to Georgia students and teachers not only during Civics Month, but also throughout the school year.

As part of the Civics Month events, the Capitol Education Center will host a special debate between three college students representing the Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican parties at 11 AM on October 13. The debate will cover current issues of particular interest to students, and will be held in front of an audience of high school students from area schools. If you are interested in having up to two of your students attend the debate, please contact Stephanie Caywood at; please secure permission from both your school Principal and the parents of each student before submitting their names. The debate will be monitored by a local journalist, but the questions asked of the debaters will come from a special panel of high school journalists who represent the interests of Georgia students across the state. Georgia Public Broadcasting will air the debates LIVE via satellite on Channel 430 and the Internet at so that students across the state can benefit from the discussion.

Once your students have had the opportunity to hear all sides of the issues through the debate, they will have the chance to participate in the 2004 Mock Election, which will allow them to vote for such offices as President of the United States, U.S. Senator, and U.S. Congressperson. This year, Georgia students will be able to cast their votes directly online, making Georgia the first state outside of YLI's home state of Virginia to participate in the Mock Election on a statewide scale. In order for your students to vote in the Mock Election, your school must register its participation in advance by visiting the Civics Month website at and clicking on the link that says voting registration. Note that multiple teachers from the same school may register individually and submit classroom totals rather than school-wide totals. Teachers planning to participate with your classes should register as early as possible so that you can receive special classroom materials. Students may vote online from Monday, October 18 until Thursday, October 28th at 7 PM. Results from the Mock Election will be available October 29th at 8 AM, allowing students to see the impact of their participation in the voting process.

Teachers are encouraged to give extra credit for students who go to the polls with their parents on Election Day to witness the official voting process firsthand. Students aged 12 and under may accompany any adult-aged voter. Students who are aged 13-15 may accompany a parent or guardian only. Be sure that your students aged 16 and 17 know that they can become part of the process by working at the polls on Election Day.

Join the Office of the Secretary of State and Georgia Public Broadcasting in celebrating Civics Month and remind your students that by joining in the democratic process, they have the power to change the future for the better.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

GPB and The Department of Education Put Reading First

Georgia Public Broadcasting has joined forces with the Georgia Department of Education to support an important program called Reading First. This initiative, created by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, is charged to prepare young children to enter kindergarten with the necessary language, cognitive, and early reading skills they need to prevent reading difficulties and ensure school success.

It is a foundational assumption of Reading First that literacy is a learned skill rather than a biological "awakening." It follows, then, that children learning to read need the best in terms of early reading instruction to help them succeed. The National Reading First program, which gives grants to support the development of resources to enhance young children's language and cognitive development, has awarded the Georgia DOE a grant to develop and produce research-based professional development programming for reading coaches. Reading coaches that have been given the tools they need to be better and more effective instructors will be better able to meet the charge of improving language and cognitive development.

GPB recently hosted two days of training for Georgia reading coaches, who participated in workshops with other reading and education professionals from across the state to develop best practices that will serve as models for all teachers of reading in Georgia. These two days of professional development were recorded and will be repurposed as satellite and video streaming training modules that, along with a curriculum developed by DOE, can be accessed by educators any time, anywhere.

Additionally, the reading coaches who participated in this special professional development training will take the strategies they learned to their school systems for broader implementation. This "train the trainer" model in combination with distance-learning technology enables GPB and DOE to reach the greatest possible audience, thereby directly affecting the learning of more Georgia learners than would be possible through the traditional face-to-face training model.

To learn more about Reading First professional development opportunities, visit the DOE website at or contact Laura Miller at You may also want to take advantage of the following web resources provided by the North Central Educational Laboratory (NCREL):

* Instructional Leadership: Steering Schools to Reading Success - this site includes leadership guidelines for implementing a new Reading First program, the principals many roles that affect reading programs, and common scenarios that principals face with reading programs.
* SBRR: Your Roadmap to Reading Instruction - this site is designed for schools involved in Reading First, and explains the concept of scientifically based reading research (SBRR) and how it effects classroom instruction.
* Professional Development: Equipping Teachers for the Road Ahead - this site explains the important link between professional development and Reading First and offers guidelines for developing professional development plans.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Letter from Director

To all of Georgia's dedicated educators:

I begin my leadership of Georgia Public Broadcasting Education with a clear vision of our role as an essential component of the Department of Education's mission to integrate technology into the classroom and the resolve to take the necessary steps to ensure our success in that role. As we move into the new school year, GPB Education is in close conversation with Dr. Mike Hall, DOE Deputy Superintendent of Information Technology, and his staff to determine the ways in which we can best support DOE in its efforts to bring Georgia classrooms to the forefront of teaching and learning through educational technology. To this end, we offer not only our technology infrastructure in terms of Internet and satellite delivery systems, but will also pledge to align our strategic directions with those of the DOE and of the Georgia learning community as a whole.

It is my firm belief, and that of my colleagues at GPB, that to develop the best technology solutions for education, one must focus on the nature of the business and needs of teachers and learners rather than on the technology itself. The most sophisticated technology available today is worth nothing if it does not effectively integrate into the classroom in a way that is convenient and that truly enhances of the educational experience. Online training, for example, has proven to be an excellent resource for classroom teachers by giving them access to professional development anytime, anywhere and maximizing the use of their time. That is why GPB is investing much of our efforts in further developing online training modules for Georgia educators to supplement the face-to-face trainings that we provide across the state.

We at GPB know that to be a good partner in education, we must listen to the teachers and students we serve. Knowing that no one is better positioned to guide us in our development of educational and technology resources than those of you who will be using those resources, we welcome your comments and suggestions on how we might best meet your needs. Increased input from educators around the state will lead to the development of resources tailored to integrate seamlessly into classroom instruction. You have the opportunity to help shape the direction of the work we will do in the coming years; be part of this important effort by sharing your thoughts with us at

I look forward to the coming school year and the opportunities it will bring all of us - GPB, the Department of Education, and each of you - to work together to positively impact our classrooms through the integration of educational technology.


Mike Nixon,

Friday, September 24, 2004

Georgia Commission on the Holocaust Brings Internationally Acclaimed Anne Frank Exhibit to Kennesaw State University

Anne Frank. The very name is recognized around the world as an emblem of courage and resolve in the face of hatred and intolerance. The Diary of Anne Frank, the personal chronicle of the German-Jewish teenager whose family spent more than two years in hiding during World War II, is one of the most widely read books in the world, second only to the Bible.

In an effort to share Anne Frank's story, Kennesaw State University and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust are hosting "Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945" a multimedia exhibit that uses 8,000 words and 600 pictures to recount compelling events in Anne's short life. This educational exhibit, located in Kennesaw, twelve miles north of I-285 on I-75, is one of only three in existence.

To reach the main exhibit at the KSU Center, visitors walk through a replica of a cattle car door - modeled after the cattle cars in which millions of Holocaust victims were sent to prison and death. Visitors then enter through a bookcase, a visible reminder that Anne Frank and her family lived in a hidden annex above Otto Frank's office. Photographs of Anne and her family in happier times are shown alongside a historical account of Adolf Hitler's rise to power. After more than two years in hiding in Amsterdam, the Frank family was betrayed to the Nazis and sent to concentration camps. Only Otto Frank survived.

At the end of the exhibit, a "Scroll Room" contains more than 400 tiny holes with various quotes from Anne's diary inscribed on small scrolls of parchment paper. Visitors are encouraged to take the scrolls with them as a memento.

In addition to the hundreds of rare photographs and historical text, a newly produced 28-minute video presentation, "The Short Life of Anne Frank," chronicles the existence of the teenager and her family. British actor Jeremy Irons narrates the documentary, produced by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Teaching visitors acceptance and promoting diversity are the primary goals of the exhibit, which also depicts other acts of inhumanity in the world today.

"We are certainly honored to offer the Anne Frank exhibit to the city, the state, and the world," said Betty Siegel, president, Kennesaw State University. "We have through Anne Frank the voice of a generation and a timeless teacher of tolerance. The effort to bring the exhibit to Kennesaw State was well worth the dedication of so many committed people."

"Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945" was granted to Kennesaw State University by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, which in turn was awarded it by the Anne Frank Center of New York and the Anne Frank House of Amsterdam. The exhibit will be displayed for at least the next three years at the KSU Center. "Anne Frank in the World" is open to the public seven days a week and is free of charge. For more information on the exhibit, please visit or call (678) 797-2083.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

GPB Showcases the State of the Arts in Georgia

GPB Education is not the only part of the Georgia Public Broadcasting organization that is invested in promoting the arts. GPB Television and Education recently collaborated on an important new arts initiative called State of the Arts. As part of that effort, GPB Television recently launched a brand new original series entitled State of the Arts, a magazine-format program featuring a variety of art forms and artists across Georgia.

While the Georgia Department of Education's curriculum standards call for courses in dance, music, theater arts, and visual arts, the funding these areas continues to diminish. State of the Arts examines art in each of its manifestations, thereby supporting a comprehensive Fine Arts curriculum for students and teachers as well as adding value to instruction by highlighting Georgia artists, performing arts groups, and cultural institutions.

The first episode of the quarterly series took viewers through Georgia's rich arts community to learn more about the Telfair Museum of Art, the oldest museum in the South; The Mark of the Potter, Georgia's oldest craft gallery; the artwork of Former First Lady Betty Foy Sanders; Peachtree Battle, the longest running theater production in Atlanta history; the creation of the G-8 Conference table; and the fascinating Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Future episodes will include The Atlanta Ballet, the oldest ballet company in the nation; the Morris Museum, the South's only museum dedicated to art and artists from the South; West African drumming performed by Georgia drummers; a sneak peak at the upcoming GPB Television series The Fabulous Fox; and more. Once each episode of State of the Arts airs on GPB Television, it will be available for encore viewing online at as well as via the education satellite.

In addition to creating this ground-breaking video series, Georgia Public Broadcasting has partnered with the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) to develop a dynamic companion website that offers visitors the chance to view the program online, learn more about the program and its production staff, and link to additional resources about each of the pieces, places, and artists explored in the show. The State of the Arts website is also equipped with a calendar of arts-related events scheduled all around Georgia. Sponsored by the GCA, this interactive calendar allows users to search for events by category, region, city, and even zip code. GPB Education staff are working diligently to develop educational resources for classroom use to be integrated into the website as well.

Tune in to the second installment of State of the Arts on GPB Television in mid-October. If you missed the broadcast premiere of the show in June or simply want more information, go to to view State of the Arts online, research one of the show's segments, or find arts events planned in your area.

GPB Showcases the State of the Arts in Georgia

GPB Education is not the only part of the Georgia Public Broadcasting organization that is invested in promoting the arts. GPB Television and Education recently collaborated on an important new arts initiative called State of the Arts. As part of that effort, GPB Television recently launched a brand new original series entitled State of the Arts, a magazine-format program featuring a variety of art forms and artists across Georgia.

While the Georgia Department of Education's curriculum standards call for courses in dance, music, theater arts, and visual arts, the funding these areas continues to diminish. State of the Arts examines art in each of its manifestations, thereby supporting a comprehensive Fine Arts curriculum for students and teachers as well as adding value to instruction by highlighting Georgia artists, performing arts groups, and cultural institutions.

The first episode of the quarterly series took viewers through Georgia's rich arts community to learn more about the Telfair Museum of Art, the oldest museum in the South; The Mark of the Potter, Georgia's oldest craft gallery; the artwork of Former First Lady Betty Foy Sanders; Peachtree Battle, the longest running theater production in Atlanta history; the creation of the G-8 Conference table; and the fascinating Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Future episodes will include The Atlanta Ballet, the oldest ballet company in the nation; the Morris Museum, the South's only museum dedicated to art and artists from the South; West African drumming performed by Georgia drummers; a sneak peak at the upcoming GPB Television series The Fabulous Fox; and more. Once each episode of State of the Arts airs on GPB Television, it will be available for encore viewing online at as well as via the education satellite.

In addition to creating this ground-breaking video series, Georgia Public Broadcasting has partnered with the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) to develop a dynamic companion website that offers visitors the chance to view the program online, learn more about the program and its production staff, and link to additional resources about each of the pieces, places, and artists explored in the show. The State of the Arts website is also equipped with a calendar of arts-related events scheduled all around Georgia. Sponsored by the GCA, this interactive calendar allows users to search for events by category, region, city, and even zip code. GPB Education staff are working diligently to develop educational resources for classroom use to be integrated into the website as well.

Tune in to the second installment of State of the Arts on GPB Television in mid-October. If you missed the broadcast premiere of the show in June or simply want more information, go to to view State of the Arts online, research one of the show's segments, or find arts events planned in your area.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

GPB Education Focuses on Arts

Georgia Public Broadcasting Education recently held special focus groups on Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K-5 and Arts in Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers, two of the Annenberg/CPB professional development courses we offer to Georgia educators at no cost. The purpose of the focus groups was to develop educational strategies derived from the two series; the strategies generated will eventually be developed into arts education professional development trainings to be offered by GPB Education to educators statewide.

Nearly 30 educators responded to the call to participate in these work groups, representing membership in The Georgia Theatre Conference; Dance Educators of Georgia (DEGA); Georgia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (GAHPERD); Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA); and Georgia Association of Arts Educators (GAEA). Teaching experience in the groups ranged from Elementary through Middle, High School and University levels. In addition to those local to Atlanta, educators drove from all parts of the state to participate- Camden County, Rabun Gap, Richmond County, Gwinnett County, and Gainesville. We were pleased to have an independent dance consultant and performer along with representatives from the Atlanta Ballet and the Gainesville Ballet in addition to the dance educators and university professors.

Educators were arranged according to specialty into the dance, theater arts, music, or visual arts group. They then spent the day viewing selected episodes of the Arts in Every Classroom programs to identify essential questions, key concepts, and vocabulary. Lively discussions led to the identification of instructional strategies and best practices in arts and education along with questions about how these series could benefit professional development and student achievement in Georgia.

Now the work of the focus groups has been completed, GPB Education staff will review and organize the four groups' suggestions around the themes of advocacy, content, professional development, and instructional strategies. Each of the educators who participated in the focus groups will receive a summary of his or her work along with a contact sheet for the other group members so that they can continue the encouragement and professional peer dialog established here at GPB throughout the coming school year.

For more information on this project or to arrange for arts professional development for teachers, administrators, staff and parents, contact Barbara O'Brien @ or 404-685-2545.

Monday, September 6, 2004

Two New Faces Join PBS Kidson GPB Television

Georgia Public Broadcasting Television is proud to announce a new addition to its daily kids' lineup. Maya & Miguel, a 64 episode series that documents the escapades of 10-year-old twins Maya and Miguel Santos, is designed to show that learning about foreign culture and language is "fun, relevant, and rewarding for all children." Underlying the comic twists and turns in each episode is the notion that "shared happiness is more important than personal gain." Interactions between the twins, their family, and the other people in the neighborhood stress values such as friendship and family, presented in the context of the Latino family, language, and cultures.

The show, which premieres on GPB Television on October 11 at INSERT TIME, is supported by a companion website designed to support language acquisition. The site, located at, features interactive content in both Spanish and English. Share the love of language and culture with your students; tune in to Maya & Miguel each day on GPB Television.

Don't forget the PBS Kids shows you have already come to know and love. The following great programs continue to air each day on GPB Television:

This program, aimed at viewers between the ages of four and eight, is designed to help foster an interest in reading and writing, and to encourage positive social skills.

Barney and Friends:
A long-time favorite of kids everywhere, this program for pre-schoolers addresses the four key areas of childhood development - cognitive, social, emotional, and physical.

The Berenstain Bears: Based on the best-selling book series, this program celebrates traditional family values.

Big Comfy Couch: This award-winning series invites pre-schoolers to exercise their hearts, minds, and bodies while building academic and behavioral skills.

Between the Lions:
This program is designed to foster the literacy skills of its viewers, while playfully demonstrating the joys of reading.

This program by the creator of the Teletubbies offers children the opportunity to build skills in five different learning areas: movement, mathematics, problem solving/science, language, and imagination.

Each five-minute episode of this program spotlights a different issue in a child's emotional, social and physical development between the ages one to four.

This program, aimed at viewers between three and seven years old, emphasizes good citizenship and the importance of community.

This Emmy-award winning show teaches kids aged 8-12 math concepts in a fun way they can understand.

Dragon Tales:
This program, aimed at pre-schoolers, is designed to nurture young children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

The Chinese Siamese Cat: This program, designed for children aged 5-8, encourages children to discover the similarities and differences they share with others sparks children's interest and appreciation of a wider world.

Sesame Street: This program for pre-schoolers reaches young children in powerful and responsible ways with a view that learning and fun are equally crucial elements of any young child's education.

Teletubbies: This series introduces children from ages one to three to the wonders and magic of high-tech in a safe and friendly way.

This daily interactive television series challenges five- to eleven-year-olds to "turn off the TV and do it!"

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Student Creativity Celebrated at State Media Festival

This May, Georgia Public Broadcasting hosted the 2004 State Media Festival. Almost 100 judges from across the state joined us to evaluate nearly 650 media projects. Judges spent the morning and early afternoon of Friday, May 7th reviewing projects and providing feedback to the authors. Projects included websites, PowerPoint presentations, live-action videos, animations, and photographic essays. These projects were produced by students from kindergarten through 12th grade from all across the state. Some projects were produced specifically for the media festival; others were done as class projects or even independent study. Nearly 150 projects were deemed superior and advanced to the International Student Media Festival, which will take place in October at the 2004 AECT national convention in Chicago.

The International Student Media Festival, now 30 years in existence, is hosted by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology; the Georgia State Media Festival is a sanctioned state festival and has been taking place for 27 years. Entries for the media festival are first judged at the school level, if a school chooses to host such a festival. Those projects earning a score of 98 or above advance to the system level festival, encompassing winners from all the schools in that school system. System level winners are then sent to the State level, and State winners move on to International.

More information on the International Student Media Festival can be found at their website, For more information about participating in the Georgia media festival, sponsored by GAIT, the Georgia Association for Instructional Technology, visit

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Helping Children Succeed from Birth to School

Since April 2002, Georgia Public Broadcasting has been part of the Five Star Alliance for Children, a consortium made up of the state broadcasting networks from Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and designed to share best practices in early childhood development with parents, caregivers, and teachers. The primary project currently being undertaken by the alliance is the Birth to School initiative, which comprises Right From Birth and Going to School, two special video series developed by Mississippi Public Broadcasting and based on the research of internationally recognized child development experts Drs. Craig and Sharon Ramey.

Right From Birth features twelve thirty-minute episodes that help parents and caregivers to better understand the stages of development through which children pass from birth to until 18 months of age. The series is broken into three sections. The first four episodes address emotional and social development in infants and discuss issues such as brain development, people skills, learning and intelligence, and point of view. The fifth episode examines seven essential principles for positive child development, which include encouraging exploration, mentoring, celebrating, rehearsing and extending new skills, protecting, guiding and limiting behavior, and communicating. The sixth through eleventh episodes examine the successive developmental stages from birth to 18 months, such as establishing trust, discovering the world, and a becoming social being.

Going to School, which is designed for the parents and caregivers of children ages three to five, picks up where Right From Birth leaves off and assists with the preparation of children for successful entry into school. The series begins with an examination of responsive care-giving and a review of the seven essentials for positive child development. Once the essentials have been covered, Going to School shows parents and caregivers ways they can help children to learn and practice the essentials during their daily routines both at home and at preschool. Information about how to choose a quality childcare program as well as learning opportunities such as English as a Second Language is also available. Finally, the series offers tips on how to establish successful communication with schools and teachers regarding a child's education.

For more information or to order VHS copies and support materials for Right From Birth or Going to School, visit the GPB Education website at and click on the Original Programming icon.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Satellite Startup Tips

1. If you've lost power to the Chaparral unit over the holidays: First, power the Chaparral back on and tune the television to the channel used to view the Chaparral output. Ensure the satellite channel chosen is R7 AMC-3, Channel 14. Next, press the SAT/TV button on your Digicipher so that the SAT/TV light is lit in the display. Additionally, the green Signal light should lit in the display. GPB Education programming will now be visible on the television set.

2. If your dish has been moved from AMC-3: First, press the satellite selection button on the Chaparral remote. Now scroll up or down using the up and down arrows in the center of the remote until R7 AMC-3 is located. Ensure that R7 AMC-3 is highlighted and press enter. When the "dish is motion" display disappears, press the time button on the remote and confirm that the dish is pointed to R7-14. Channel up or down with the channel bar to select channel 14 if is not the channel displayed. See instructions above to receive GPB Education programming.

3. If the site has a green signal light and NO video:
Contact the Convergent Media Systems Helpdesk at 800 877 -7805.

If you have any additional problems operating your equipment that are not mentioned here, or if these solutions do not work for you, contact the help desk at (800) 877-7805.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

GaETC Moves to November

GaETC, the Georgia Education Technology Consortium, is making a change to its annual conference! After several years of holding their annual conference in March or April, the board of directors has chosen to change to a fall conference. Georgia Public Broadcasting is a regular exhibitor and session presenter at the GaETC conference, sharing new programming, services, and training offerings; this year we'll see you November 10-12, 2004 at the Macon Centreplex.

The GaETC conference is open to all educators with an interest in technology and education. There is no membership list and no dues required to attend the conference. Vendors and presenters from across the country attend GaETC to share a variety of strategies, ideas, and success stories for integrating technology into the classroom. Georgia Public Broadcasting is planning to present two workshops this year - one on integrating video streaming into the classroom and one on advanced multimedia classroom lessons and tools.

Are You Logged In to GPB's Video Streaming?

As this new school year begins, we want to remind you of a great teaching tool you have at your fingertips - Georgia Public Broadcasting's video streaming service. Over 22,000 video clips, ranging from five seconds to several minutes and spanning all grade levels and subjects, are free for you to use with your students. For those of you who have discovered the ease and versatility of our video streaming site, we want to remind you about our username and password protocols.

Each school in Georgia has a unique username and password for use by faculty and staff. For copyright purposes, we ask that you not freely distribute the username and password to your students, such as printing it on a class syllabus or assignment. Your username should consist of your school system name (county or city), as well as your school's four-digit DOE registry number. Your password should be your school system's three-digit DOE system number. If you are not sure that you are using your school's assigned username and password, please call us at 1 (888) 501-8960 to confirm it. The primary reason we urge all schools to use their assigned login information is that it allows us to keep accurate records of who is using the video streaming service, and how much. This informs us in our training initiatives, allows us to troubleshoot problems at the system or even building level, and provides us with accurate data to justify continued support for offering video streaming to Georgia teachers.

For those of you who have not yet had a chance to explore our video streaming to see how easy it is to integrate into your classroom teaching, please contact us at 1 (888) 501-8960 to schedule a training. GPB Education staff will be happy to visit your school or school system to conduct an orientation and to provide you with ideas on how to integrate this powerful tool into your teaching. In addition, look for sessions and workshops at state conferences, including COMO in October, GaETC in November, and discipline-specific conference throughout the school year.

Friday, August 6, 2004


Georgia Partnership, Chamber of Commerce Join to Tell Important Story

When many people think about public education they are often focused on individual students or school performance and achievement. But there is another critical area often overlooked. The economic prosperity of Georgia is inextricably linked to the state's education system.

The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce teamed up earlier this year to offer 12 regional presentations highlighting the "Economics of Education." These seminars were presented to local business leaders, educators, government decision makers and interested citizens.

Dr. Stephen Dolinger, the Georgia Partnership's president and key presenter at the sessions, explained that when audiences see the facts they are both surprised and alarmed at how economics and education go hand-in-hand. "Academic achievement, or non-achievement as the case may be, does impact the state's economy and ability to attract business," he said.

As an example, the presentation looks at Georgia's high school graduation rate of approximately 60 percent. Dolinger points out that it is hard for any state to reach its greatest potential if nearly half its children are not completing high school.

Using U.S. Census Bureau figures, the "Economics of Education" presentations explain that in 2001, non-graduates earned $9,000 per year less than high school grads and $30,500 less than college grads. The annual income for non-high school graduates is $19,434. Compare that to high school grads at $28,343 and four-year college graduates at $49,985.

How does this impact our communities and state? Here are some facts:

* Higher per capita income would lead to a higher demand for goods and services produced or offered in the community;
* Higher demand in the retail market leads to higher demand in the wholesale market.

The effect is an increase in the region's economy which fuels prosperity.

As George Israel, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce said, "The business community understands that a strong education system is simply the best way to ensure continued economic growth and vitality for the state."

Be sure to watch the special airing of The Economics of Education, a taping of one of the 12 presentations made across the state to learn more about the impact education has on the state economy. It will air on Channel 430 at INSERT TIME. For more information about the Georgia Partnership and its economics initiatives, contact Bill Maddox at 404-223-2464 or

Sunday, August 1, 2004

GPB Recognizes Georgia's Best and Brightest

From January 19 until March 19, 2004, Georgia Public Broadcasting was pleased to host the Tenth Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest. The contest challenges children from Kindergarten through third grade to draw upon their verbal and artistic abilities by creating their own picture storybooks. This year, more than 500 students from all across the state participated in the contest, making 2004 the most successful Reading Rainbow contest for Georgia to date.

GPB collaborated with the Education Departments at Clark Atlanta University and the University of Georgia, which offered over 50 students from their teacher education program to conduct the first round of judging. The final round of judging, conducted by seasoned artists, educators, and librarians from throughout Georgia, took place here at the Georgia Public Broadcasting facility in Atlanta in April. We would like to congratulate the following students on their winning submissions:

1st Place - Moriah Grace Zuckerman - "Hubble and His New Pal"
2nd Place - Vishnu Kaushik - "The Blue Dragon"
3rd Place - Caleb Lawen - "The Kid Who Saved the Farmer from the Big Giant"

First Grade
1st Place - Claire Jirasevijinda - "The Red Magic Hat"
2nd Place - Nicholas Foster - "The Dog Who Could Drive A Car"
3rd Place - J.R. Tinker - "The Dragon's Battle"

Second Grade
1st Place - Hardi Shah - "Missing Piece of Cake"
2nd Place - Brittany Baggett - "The Wandering Kitty"
3rd Place - Brittany Denise Hoell - "Brittany's Adventure to Pluto"

Third Grade
1st Place - Lauretta Zhao - "The Cloud Eagle"
2nd Place - Hannah Wiggins - "Blondie's Mystery"
3rd Place - Megan Kelsey Tabler - "A Snowy Day"

GPB held a celebration on May 22, where each of the winners was invited to read his or her story for an audience of fellow contest winners and family members. Prizes for winners included $50 Barnes and Noble gift certificates for first place winners, $20 gift certificates for second place winners, and 10 gift certificates for third place winners.

You may see the first place winners' stories, which will go on to represent Georgia at the national contest level, by visiting our website at

Friday, April 9, 2004

GAEA - Resources for Georgia Art Educators

One of the many resources available to art educators in Georgia is the Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA), a statewide professional organization of art educators. The purpose of GAEA, which is affiliated with the National Art Education Association, is to ensure the highest degree of art instruction in the state by:

* representing the art teachers of our State
* improving the conditions of teaching art
* promoting the study of teaching art
* encouraging research and experimentation in art education
* holding public discussions
* sponsoring institutes, conferences, and programs
* publishing articles, reports and surveys
* working with other related agencies

According to GAEA President Debi West, art educators "arts education is a necessary component to building the whole child" and students with a background in arts "are better problem solvers, cognitive thinkers, and can transfer their knowledge into other disciplines in the curriculum." GAEA sponsors a number of important arts events around the state that foster student interest in the arts, including Youth Art Month and the Capitol Art Exhibit, which it sponsors in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of State. Both events showcase student artwork and provide both the legislators and the general public the opportunity to appreciate the creative ability of young Georgia artists.

GAEA membership is broken up into six categories that reflect the scope of the organization's reach: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Higher Education, Administrative/Supervision, and Museum Education. The two statewide GAEA-sponsored professional events each year cater to members of each of these categories. For information about the coming school year's Fall and Spring Professional Development Conference and to begin your exploration of visual art resources available online, visit the website at

A New Sphere For Science Teachers

Science teachers now have a great new tool in Teachers' Domain, an online, multimedia resource for the classroom and professional development. Located at, this WGBH site allows teachers to present science concepts to students in high-impact, engaging, and interactive ways. When you first visit the site, click on Register now to take advantage of the benefits that the site has to offer.

Once you have registered, you will be able to access Teachers' Domain's classroom-ready resources, which are catalogued by grade level and correlated to national and state standards. First, you will need to select your subject area and grade level. On each subject menu page, you will find links to commonly taught topics, as well as changing highlights of classroom and professional development resources. For example, if you select Life Science for grades 9-12 as your subject and grade level, you will find topics such as The Cell, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, etc. Each of these topics will have related lesson plans as well as subtopics for more specific research.

From the subject menu page you may select one of the topic areas for further exploration. On any given topic menu page you will find links to lists of resources organized by subtopic, plus a list of lesson plans on the main topic that incorporate those resources. For example, on the Genetics subject menu page, you will find subtopics such as Genetic Engineering, Human Genetics, Mendelian Genetics, etc. Lesson Plans cover Bioengineered Goods, DNA Fingerprints, Protein Synthesis, and More. In addition the links to these resources and lesson plans, each topic page features rotating highlights of resource materials that showcase specific tools for your chosen topic.

From the main topic page you may select one of the subtopics to get even more detailed information about a specific area of study. The subtopic page displays an extensive list of classroom resources for your chosen subtopic, including video and audio segments, interactive activities, images, and text documents. For the subtopic Human Genetics, you find videos on Alzheimer's Disease and the Common Genetic Code, interactives on family trees and DNA fingerprints, case studies, and more.

If you click on any of the resources listed on the subtopic page, you will get important information you need to supplement your classroom instruction. Firstly, you will see a background essay that explains the relevant facts and issues about the subtopic you've chosen. You will also find questions for discussion or writing assignments to help focus your classes understanding of the subject. You may click on links to watch video segments that demonstrate the subject visually. The Resource Page also indicates the national and state standards to which the resource has been correlated as well as offering detailed lesson plans developed by curriculum specialists and reviewed by scientific experts. Each lesson plan provides detailed step-by-step instructions for presenting a lesson that integrates several resources.

Every Resource page has a Save feature that allows you to save the information it contains to a special folder called My Resources where you can keep all of the information you want to use for class. Whenever you visit Teachers' Domain, you can access My Resources from the "Open a folder" pull-down menu at the top of your screen. You're My Resources page will show you all of the resource links that you have saved as you've browsed through the Teacher Domain site in the past, including video, interactive, audio, image, and text files.

If you want to organize the resources you've collected according to specific classes or lessons, you can create Custom Resource Folders. Do this by putting a check mark beside each of the resources you want to move to the new folder and then selecting a destination folder using the "Copy checked resources to" pull-down menu at the bottom of the screen. If you don't already have folders to put your resources in, you will have a chance to create and name one now. You may also annotate each resource in your custom resource folders.

The Teachers' Domain site has a great management feature that gives you the ability to grant viewing access to specific groups. For example, you could create a special custom resource folder with video clips relating to a lesson for your third period biology class an
Post Optionsd then grant viewing access to members of that class only. You manage access to your customer folders on the My Groups page, which assigns an ID number to each group to which you grant access. Detailed information on how to set up and manage folders and access is available through the extensive help functionality of the Teachers' Domain site.

If you are a teacher of Science in grade K-12 and really want to add new life to your classes each day, visit and register to take advantage of these free resources today!

Sesame Street Celebrates Its 35th Birthday

Monday, April 5, 2004 marks the beginning of Sesame Street's 35th Anniversary Season! To celebrate this historic event, Sesame Street will air "The Street We Live On," a special prime time episode at 8 PM on April 4 on PBS. This special program takes viewers on a journey through some of Sesame Street's most magical moments as Elmo learns more about the street on which he lives.

"As always, Sesame Street is there to introduce basic academic building blocks and life lessons in a way that entertains and engages children as they embark on each new phase in their development," says Rosemarie Truglio, Ph.D., Vice President of Education and Research, Sesame Workshop. "We continue to focus on the "whole child" curriculum where we look at all aspects of a child's development: cognitive, emotional, social and physical. Research continues to prove that children truly benefit from learning the Sesame Way. Not only are they using knowledge based on what they learn, but they're encouraged to think, dream and discover for themselves. Our goal continues to be for children to strive to reach for their own highest potential in school and in life."

Sesame Street will remain true to its mission of preparing kids for school and life, and in this, its 35th season, the critically-acclaimed series introduces new live action and animation segments and a list of well-known celebrities to support pre-schoolers in learning more about their ABC's and 123's.

Sesame Street continues to address the needs of today's children by emphasizing the important lesson of "respect and understanding." Two features introduced last season, "Global Grover" and "Global Thingy," return with all new segments. Created to help young viewers have an appreciation of other cultures and to understand the world we live in, "Global Grover" presents short live action films of children in other countries. Grover crosses the globe to visit countries including Mexico where children learn the art of pottery making; Israel, where kids from a kibbutz make a "play house" together; and Poland, where grandparents teach youngsters how to make scarecrows.

The imaginative, animated short "Global Thingy" puts the emphasis on the importance of social reasoning, cooperation, sharing and empathy; and new to the series" lineup is Madlenka, animated segments based on the children's book of the same name about a little girl who lives in a diverse neighborhood. Also new this season, a closing segment sure to be the newest model for storytelling: in Trash Gordon, Oscar reads a bedtime story to Slimey.

Tune into GPB Television at 9 AM to share the wonderful world of Sesame Street with your students!

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Services for Educators at the Georgia Archives

Upcoming changes to the Quality Core Curriculum Standards, now called the Georgia Performance Standards, bring new challenges for the state's teachers. At the Georgia Archives, we are proud to help educators effectively navigate these challenges. While identifying, preserving, and making records that constitute Georgia's recorded history accessible, the Archives provides primary source material that contains valuable educational content, but also allows students opportunities to develop the analytical skills outlined in the new Georgia Performance Standards.

In May of 2003, the Georgia Archives relocated to the city of Morrow, just south of the Atlanta perimeter. While the move saved taxpayers a costly renovation on the old downtown location, it also allowed for state-of-the-art technological advances and more space for special programming. As a result, the Archives is now able to offer increased services for educators and students in grades 4-12.

Reference Services
- Nearly 20,000 people visit the Georgia Archives each year to conduct research. Our secure environment preserves historic materials while allowing access to approximately 100,000 cubic feet of government records (from 1732 to the present) including the Surveyor General Collection of 1.5 million land grants and plats (1775-1909) and over 10,000 county and state maps. The non-government collection includes documents having cultural and historical value, such as family letters and papers, business records, records of organizations and churches, and photographs. Non-original materials such as books are also available. The research room is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8:30 to 5:00, providing research guidance to those in need of it.

Building tours
- During field trips to the Archives, students get the opportunity to learn how the Archives preserves Georgia's documentary heritage and explore the value of primary resources. Classroom lectures by Archives staff are also available.

The Teachers' Advisory Forum
- The Archives has established a new listserv for social studies educators to allow direct input on the development of services and resources for the classroom as well as to encourage networking and discussion opportunities across the state. Information on upcoming programs, exhibits, and other relevant news bulletins will also be announced via the listserv. To subscribe, send an e-mail to Do not enter any text in the subject field and delete any automatic signatures. In the message field, enter "Subscribe GAHISTORYEDUCATORS" and your first and last name. You will receive a message confirming your subscription and providing further instructions.

Online Information
- The Georgia Archives website at offers facts and statistics about the state, research guides, information about elected officials, tips for preserving documents and photographs, and online exhibits of primary materials. In the near future, lesson plans will be offered to support approved curriculum guidelines with corresponding online copies of original materials.

For more information, contact Valerie Frey, Education Coordinator for the Georgia Archives, at or 678-364-3782.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

What's in A Name?

On January 1, 2004 Georgia Public Broadcasting launched an organization-wide branding initiative that involved all three broadcast divisions. The divisions, formerly known as Georgia Public Television, Georgia Public Radio, and PeachStar Education Services, will now be known as Georgia Public Broadcasting Television, Radio, and Education respectively. Even though our name has changed, you can still rely on the same high quality programming and services you have come to count on from PeachStar. You can still access our video through both satellite and video streaming and all of our services, such as Video On Request, professional development trainings, and Pipeline magazine subscriptions will continue to be available to you at no cost. In fact, the only thing different about they way you utilize our resources from this point forward will be the way you refer to us: Georgia Public Broadcasting Education.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Georgia Public Broadcasting Education Director's Message

Dear Educator:

On January 1, 2004, PeachStar Education Services became Georgia Public Broadcasting Education, but the standard of service and materials we provide has remained the same. In fact, we continue to raise the bar in terms of classroom resources, making use of new and emerging technologies to ensure that you are receiving the support and resources you need from us as you go about the work of classroom instruction.

Following the September failure of our satellite, we have not only succeeded in migrating the majority of our receiving sites in order to restore service, we have also bolstered our non-satellite-delivered resources in order to allow you continued use of our video library despite the temporary disruption of satellite service. Since the August 2001 launch of our video streaming service, our repository of digital video clips has increased from 10,000 clips to more than 20,000 clips from 2,000 programs and series. To date, students and teachers from 180 school systems have utilized the service approximately 850,000 times.

The growing utilization of both video streaming and our new webcasting resource, which allows educators to take advantage of professional development opportunities remotely both live and on demand, indicates that the students and teachers we serve across Georgia are comfortable with the digital trend in education technology. We at Georgia Public Broadcasting pledge to provide you with opportunities for training and familiarization as we continue to integrate digital technology into our delivery of educational resources.

In addition to the resources we develop onsite here at GPB, we offer you the best educational materials available through partnerships with organizations such as Annenberg/CPB, for whom we serve as a video streaming mirror site, thereby giving you access to their extended library of K-12 and professional development video resources at no cost.

We recognize that no one is in a better position than educators to guide us in the development and shaping of resources for classroom use. Please share your thoughts and questions with us and help us to be the best service provider we can be by writing to We look forward to using your feedback in our continued efforts to meet the needs of Georgia's teachers and learners.


C. Blaine Carpenter, Ph.D.
Director, Education Services

Great Museums: A Great Opportunity

As you know, the Education Services Division of Georgia Public Broadcasting has been steadily expanding our arts programming for some time now. Our video repository now boasts a number of fine arts programs, including dance, theater, music, and visual arts. One of our newest acquisitions, Great Museums, focuses on museums across the country, exploring their collections in detail and offering students the opportunity to view artifacts they might otherwise never see. Did you know that the United States has more than 15,000 museums? How about that 2.3 million people visit American museums every day? Or that nine out of every 10 counties in the United States has a museum?

This series, designed for students in grades 8-12, explores all different kinds of museums that range in terms of focus from history, culture, literature, science, industry, technology, and popular culture. One episode even deals with Georgia's own Morris Museum of Art. The Morris Museum, located in Augusta, is the first museum in the country dedicated to celebrating the work of Southern artists. Housing more than 2,500 pieces, the museum offers visitors a survey of Southern artwork over time and across media.

Be sure to record this series, which can be used across disciplines as it deals with museums of all types. Check the listings on page INSERT for broadcast dates and times.

Friday, March 5, 2004

Georgia Performance Standards: A World-Class Curriculum for Our Schools

What was once simply theory is now close to becoming a reality for Georgia's teachers and students. State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox and the Curriculum and Instruction Staff at the Department of Education are pleased to announce the unveiling of the new Georgia Performance Standards, a world-class curriculum that will drive both instruction and assessment for Georgia's teachers and students.

As we work to lead the nation in improving student achievement, the Georgia Performance Standards will be the foundation upon which we build. Our teachers have long needed a published and usable document that establishes high standards, maintains clear expectations, and provides specific guidelines for facilitating student learning at a deeper level than possible under the old Quality Core Curriculum (QCC); now they have it. We have drawn on national and international best practices to produce a curriculum that will enable our schools and students to achieve at levels that will make Georgia an education leader not only in the southeast, but in the nation and the world as well.

From January 12, 2004 to April 12, 2004, you as an educator will be uniquely positioned to influence the shape of the new curriculum that will govern your classroom by sharing your questions and comments before it is finalized and submitted to the State Board of Education for approval. The Georgia Performance Standards, as well as explanatory videos and webcast presentations describing the major changes in each content area, are now available at The Department of Education staff responsible for the development of the curriculum hope that you will take the opportunity to share your thoughts about the curriculum by filling out the feedback forms available on either of these two sites. DOE staff will use educator recommendations as they make final revisions to the document, which will be presented to the Board for approval in May and implemented this fall.

With the Georgia Performance Standards driving instruction across the state, Georgia will be well on the way to achieving its goal to lead the nation in improving student achievement.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Meet the Ready To Learn Consultant Nearest Your School

Georgia Public Broadcasting Education does more to serve the pre-kindergarten community than air quality programming from PBS Kids and other child-friendly program providers. We also improve the quality of education pre-school aged children receive by conducting trainings for parents and caregivers across the state. These trainings, sponsored by the PBS Ready To Learn program, equip those who care for young children to better meet their needs in terms of both traditional and television literacy.

GPB's Ready To Learn consultants bring to this work a wide array of experiences in the educational arena that uniquely positions them to meet the varying needs of communities statewide. The consultants do a lot of work with service organizations for underprivileged children, such as Head Start, in order to ensure that all of Georgia's children have an equal opportunity to learn when they begin school - regardless of their parents' income level. Additionally, GPB Education employs bilingual consultants, extending the reach of the Ready To Learn program's benefits to Spanish as well as English-speaking caregivers and children. Read on to learn a little bit about a few of our Ready To Learn consultants and the work that they do in communities near you.

Marilyn Armstrong - Macon
Marilyn has over 20 years experience as an elementary school teacher in Georgia. Over the course of her career, Marilyn has served as GALAXY Mentor for kindergarten teachers statewide, language arts department chair, school liaison to HeadStart, and co-developer of Bibb County's kindergarten language arts instructional alignment. As a Ready To Learn consultant, Marilyn serves children and caregivers in the Macon area by providing trainings on early literacy.

Mercedes Gutierrez - Marietta

Mercedes, who serves as Ready To Learn consultant for the Marietta and metro-Atlanta area, extends the reach of her services by conducting trainings in both English and Spanish. With experience as a pre-school educator, social worker, and Spanish language interpreter, Mercedes is well positioned to meet the literacy needs of the diverse community she serves.

Lauretta Kloer - Lawrenceville/Gwinnett County
Lauretta has over 16 years of teaching experience at the elementary school level and is a certified teacher of English to Students of Other Languages (ESOL). Her experience with adult education as an InTech trainer at Kennesaw State University makes her doubly qualified to conduct trainings for the parents and caregivers of pre-school children. Her additional experience as an instructional technology specialist better enables her to promote technology literacy.

Kathy McCollister - Savannah

Kathy has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than 20 years. During that time she has served not only as a classroom teacher, but also as a trainer of early childhood professionals. Throughout her career, Kathy has focused on both media literacy and creative play, both of which are fostered through GPB Education's Ready To Learn program.

Rachel Wester - Waycross

Rachel, who has been an early childhood educator for 10 years, embraces PBS Kids and Ready To Learn not only professionally, but also for use in her own home. She has a strong sense of the importance of literacy skills early on in a child's education and relies on quality education programming such as PBS Kids' Between the Lions and Reading Rainbow to help instill a love of reading in children.

If you would like to schedule a Ready To Learn training for parents or caregivers in your area, contact GPB Education's Laura Miller at or (404) 685-2521.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Building Your Future: Georgia Engineers Week

Engineers Week 2004 is February 22-28 and the Georgia Engineers Week Committee has a number of outreach activities planned for middle and high school students throughout the state.

2004 Introduce a Girl to Engineering Luncheon.
This is Georgia's fourth year of involvement in the National "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Program." The committee combined efforts with prime sponsors IBM, Georgia Tech, Street Smarts, and Willmer Engineering Inc. to host a special luncheon at the Georgia Tech Bill Moore Student Success Center. Sixty top female math and science students from middle and high schools throughout the Metro Atlanta area and thirty women in the engineering profession will be special guests at the luncheon, designed to promote engineering as a career choice for female students.

Education Outreach in Local Schools and Student Groups.
Engineers and technology professionals interacted with elementary, middle, and high school students to share their career experiences and to promote engineering as a career choice. Schools were offered the opportunity to receive educational and promotional materials related to Engineers Week as well. Many of these outreach activities continue throughout the year. Several firms also sponsor their own activities, such as CH2M Hill's multi-school outreach activities, Johnson Spellman & Associates- Partner in Education relationship with Chattahoochee Elementary School in Forsyth County, and Street Smarts- "Around the World in 80 Days and 80 Ways" program.

E-Week Websites.
The National Committee's website at is worth checking out. It has information on national programs that local organizations and firms can participate in, as well as profiles of engineers and educational information for students and the community. The Georgia Engineers Week website has current information on activities within the state. You may also contact Jamie Collins at 404-521-2324 for more information about Georgia Engineers Week activities.

Georgia Public Broadcasting Education is supporting awareness about Engineers Week by airing two very special programs on Channel 420. Building a Sound Foundation in Mathematics and Science Education with Dr. James W. Wagner encourages students with an inclination toward math and science to begin preparing for a career in engineering as early as middle school. Building Bridges, INSERT INFORMATION. See the Listings for air dates and times.