GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Many parents are faced with the challenge of taking on the role of teacher with the closure of School District 51.
Rocky Mountain PBS has altered its programming to help bridge that learning gap while students aren’t in the classroom.
“Any helpful educational distraction is pretty fantastic in my mind right now,” said Jody Valente, a Grand Junction parent with two young boys.
Jody has been busy during the transitions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a whole new world in terms of the access to technology, which has been something we’ve been getting used to,” said Jody.
Her son Watson is a 2nd grader at New Emerson Elementary School.
“I usually just go to my Google Classroom and do the assignments my teacher has for me,” said Watson.
When Watson is not doing his school work, the family takes neighborhood bike rides and sometimes the boys use the PBS application on an iPad.
“He can watch a show like ‘Cyberchase’ and it’s a break for him but then he’s still gaining knowledge at the same time,” said Jody.
PBS has made changes to its programming schedule and some web content to accommodate the needs of students in Colorado.
“On March 23rd we got permission to change our programming to help support at-home learning,” said Hillary Daniels, the Western Colorado Engagement Manager for Rocky Mountain PBS.
RMPBS is providing at-home learning for any age, even 4-year-old Benjamin, who hasn’t been able to attend preschool in four weeks.
“They have cool stuff in them,” said Benjamin.
“He’s really into ‘Daniel Tiger’, ‘Super Why’ and ‘Dinosaur Train’,” said Watson.
“I think his favorite show is ‘Dinosaur Train,’ I think it’s just a really light, fun show all about dinosaurs,” said Jody.
PBS is focusing content on three topics, education, mental health and arts & culture.
“To help close that gap really, as much as we possibly can right, with distance-learning, continue to teach them so that hopefully by the time we are able to, when they go to school in the fall, they’re ready and they’re prepared,” said Hillary.
You can download the PBS application, watch RMPBS for free on channel 18.1, or click here for the website.