Tuesday, May 31, 2005

GPB and DOE Urge Georgians to Read More

As every educator knows, a child needs a solid foundation in literacy to succeed in school and in life. In order to promote literacy and the importance of reading to young children, Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Department of Education have joined together to create the Georgia Read More initiative. The purpose of Georgia Read More is two fold. It allows state leaders, dignitaries, and celebrities the opportunity to support literacy awareness by reading their favorite children's book on camera, AND it drives home the importance of child literacy to students, teachers, and parents.

According to the U.S. DOE-funded Reading Rockets Project, the single most important thing families can do to help children become readers is to read to them every day. Each episode of Georgia Read More models reading for parents and children, demonstrating that reading together can be more than just a learning activity - it can be fun. Beyond simply reading aloud, it is also good practice for parents to talk with their children about the stories they have read, and to encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about what happened in the book.

So far, four special people have given their time to share their favorite story with Georgia students, parents, and teachers in hopes of helping to promote literacy awareness in the state.

Kathy Cox - Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent Cox was the first person to volunteer to be part of the Georgia Read More initiative. She read her favorite story, The Princess Penelope, written by Todd Mack and illustrated by Julia Gran. The Princess Penelope tells the story of an ordinary young girl who imagines she is a real princess.

Mary Perdue - First Lady of Georgia
Mrs. Perdue joined the Georgia Read More initiative with a special reading of Miss Twiggley's Tree, by Dorothea Warren Fox. Mrs. Perdue read her story to a special group of young children at the Governor's Mansion in Atlanta. Miss Twiggley's Tree introduces readers to eccentric Miss Twiggley, who earns her town's gratitude after years of living in isolation.

Jimmy Carter - Former President of the United States
President Carter contributed to the Georgia Read More initiative by reading his book, Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer, to students at the Carter Center in Atlanta. This book for children of all ages describes how Jeremy makes friends with the baby Snoogle-Fleejer, which he first takes to be a monster.

John Smoltz - Atlanta Braves Player
John Smoltz, Braves pitcher and father of four, joined Georgia Read More effort to promote literacy by reading The Monster Who Ate My Peas, by Danny Schnitzlein. This story, which tells about a little boy who makes a deal with a monster to avoid eating his peas, teaches readers not to make hasty judgments, but to try new things.

Plans are underway to produce three additional episodes. The Georgia Read More series is currently scheduled to air on Channel 430. See listings for broadcast dates and times.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Two Original GPB Science Series to Hit Air Waves This May

Three years ago, GPB developed two college preparatory science courses for use in schools that were unable to offer them due to insufficient staff or funding. The courses, entitled, Chemistry: A Study of Matter and Physics Fundamentals, have both been approved for high school credit by the Georgia Department of Education. Until now, these series have been available only through video streaming. Beginning this May, though, GPB is pleased to begin broadcasting the courses via satellite, so that even more Georgia schools will be able to take advantage of it.

The primary method of course delivery is through the 30-minute video programs featuring teachers presenting the material to students, demonstrations of principles and techniques, students asking questions and interacting with the teacher, and short assessments of the material. A certified teacher serving as an onsite facilitator for the class interacts with the students, sets up labs, and administers assignments and assessments for the course.

Physics Fundamentals and Chemistry: A Study of Matter will be available via satellite and the Internet for you to preview over the summer months; if you are interested in enrolling your students to take the courses for credit, please contact us at education@gpb.org or 404-685-2550.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

GPB Prints Its Final Issue of Pipeline Magazine

Traditionally, May is that special month when high school seniors the world over reach the end of the first phase of education and prepare to transition into a promising future either in college or the working world. This momentous transformation is symbolized by graduation, when students officially cross over from the realm of childhood into that of adulthood, prepared by years of learning and practice to face the challenges that await them. This May, GPB is celebrating a graduation of its own - Pipeline magazine is graduating from a limited existence as a paper publication to the boundless possibilities of the Internet.

Over the 11 years that Pipeline has been in print, it has seen numerous iterations, beginning as an eight-page black and white bulletin, developing into a sleeker 10-page color newsletter, and finally reaching its apex as a printed magazine: a 24-page color magazine complete with articles and broadcast listings. Now, Pipeline is taking a giant step forward, leaving the confines of its printed pages behind and taking up residence on the GPB website, where the expansive nature of cyberspace will allow for a multidimensional approach to sharing information with interested educators not only in Georgia, but anywhere in the world.

In addition to residing on the GPB website, the new Pipeline "e-zine," or electronic magazine is available to subscribers through e-mail. The e-zine arrives on the first of each month and offers a list of the month's articles along with brief descriptions. Each of these is linked to the full article on the website, so you can click through to continue reading.

With the additional space provided by the electronic format, Pipeline will now offer several regular features that you can look for each month. Every issue will have a TeacherLine section that offers information about current course availability as well as links to the online registration site. You can also find out where GPB will be traveling each month in the "Where We'll Be" section. For early education providers, parents, and caregivers, we will offer a "View and Do" section modeled after the Ready To Learn activities provided through PBS. And don't forget our new "Community Corner," where we will feature the information YOU share with us about what's going on in your school and community. Be sure to send pictures or video to accompany the stories you submit to pipeline_ezine@gpb.org.

In addition to providing more space and flexibility in terms of the magazine content, the switch from a print to electronic version of Pipeline also allows GPB to redirect a considerable amount of funding toward high quality programming and professional development opportunities for educators around the state.