WTVP Announces Plan for Remote Learning on Broadcast Television
(PEORIA, Illinois) WTVP, in conjunction with local and regional educational entities, has announced plans for a new broadcast television channel devoted solely to remote learning. The new channel, to be branded as WTVP REMOTE, is projected to be on air later in the summer in time for the 2020 – 2021 school year.
Broadcasting at 47.5, WTVP REMOTE has the potential to reach more than 200,000 households in a 20-county region of Central Illinois. It fills a critical need for remote learning resources during the coronavirus pandemic and in future situations where classroom alternatives are required and can reinforce traditional classroom learning.
WTVP REMOTE will be especially important to the thousands of low-income urban families and rural residents in the region who do not have reliable access to high-speed internet, cable TV service or a computer. Under current quarantine conditions and in other natural disasters or school disruptions, those students are almost completely cut off from instructional resources.
A major gift to WTVP from local philanthropists Sid and Flo Banwart was pivotal in purchasing the technology to make the additional channels possible.
“A big part of WTVP’s mission for 49 years has been to serve as a quality educational resource for the community. We do that every day on our flagship station, PBS Kids, Create TV and World,” said WTVP President and CEO, Lesley Matuszak. “This takes our commitment to education to a whole new level. It is the right thing to do for the children, parents and educators who are working so hard to stay engaged through remote learning. There couldn’t be a better time for WTVP to acquire the technology and form the partnerships to make this happen.”
Under the plan, WTVP REMOTE will be funded by educational entities, major donations and grants designated specifically for the operation of the channel. Some content will be from the PBS digital learning library, but most will be locally produced to meet the specific needs of area students. Content will be scheduled throughout the day to support curricula for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in math, science, reading, language arts, social studies and other subjects.
“During this unprecedented time, schools have had to move quickly to deliver teaching and learning in new ways,” said Beth Crider, Regional Superintendent of Schools. “One key thing we have learned through this time of great change is that the lens of equity must be taken into consideration.”
“Many families do not have access to technology, whether that is a device in the home or high-quality broadband,” Crider added. “Utilizing the WTVP public television resource is a dynamic, innovative way for us to deliver quality programming to families right in their homes. Education can take place any time of the day with this learning channel! We are honored to be a partner in this process!”
WTVP is working with local and regional administers to secure funding needed for ongoing production and programming on WTVP REMOTE. Interested individuals, businesses or other entities should contact Marcia Bolden, Director of Philanthropic Relations at 309-495-0525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WTVP’s mission is to enrich our community in engaging and relevant ways using public media and outreach efforts. The station is an essential source for education, scientific, entertainment, and cultural content that connects Central Illinois on a local and world level. Generous membership donations and business underwriting are what make this mission and vision possible. An investment in WTVP is an investment in our community. Learn more at www.wtvp.org or call 309-677-4747.