Quality Education During the Pandemic is as Close as Your TV 
By Kari Wardle
Education Manager, Idaho Public Television
 
Are you or someone you know struggling with how to educate children at home? Are you worried that schools might partially close again? Basic Education is one of Rotary's Seven Areas of Focus. We at IdahoPTV are here to help Rotary families and friends! Like most organizations, when the pandemic hit, we had to find new ways to continue to provide support to families, schools, and communities. To begin with, we quickly curated a list of quality, trusted PBS and PBS KIDS resources that would assist parents as they tackled the role of teacher, and teachers as they entered into the previously unknown world of remote and distance learning. These resources can be found on our distance learning website. 
 
When schools closed in March, we knew that we had a unique opportunity to provide support to parents and students across the state. As the only statewide media outlet, we reach 99% of homes in Idaho with just an over-the-air antenna. Armed with this knowledge, we set out to find ways to reach the more than 20,000 students who didn’t have internet access, and therefore, didn’t have access to quality teaching. To that end, we launched Classroom Idaho: Learn @ Home. We partnered with the State Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and teachers from across the state to provide lessons taught by certified Idaho teachers and broadcasted for free over the air. We ran a 6 week session in April and a May, a five week back-to-school Boot camp in July and August, and are gearing up to run a 13 week session for grades K-6 beginning on September 14. Lessons can be found on our Create channel beginning at 8am. 
 
At Idaho Public Television, we believe in the power of education and public media and the strength of community. We are committed to finding new and innovative ways to support families, educators, and the community. 
 
If you have any questions, or if we can be of further support, feel free to contact kari.wardle@idahoptv.org