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Local students walking the halls of their school now have a little piece of WHRO present with them. Schools across the area that work in collaboration to own and operate WHRO recently received plaques signifying their ownership of the station.

Many are often surprised to learn that WHRO is owned by a collaboration of 19 local public school divisions—the only public broadcasting station of its kind in the United States. The station was born by educators when the school board chairs of Norfolk and Hampton Public Schools began experimenting with the idea of teaching students through television. They developed WHRO-TV to deliver this instructional programming, and over the next few years the number of participating school divisions grew.

“In 1961, WHRO-TV broadcast its first "tele-lesson" to Hampton Roads providing educational instruction. WHRO actually stands for Home Room One and while technology has changed dramatically since we began, we are still in the business of helping our school’s meet their goals using today’s technologies. WHRO is proud to be owned by the 19 school systems and we are thrilled to have these plaques installed so more people become aware of our unique ownership and core mission,” said Bert Schmidt, President and Chief Executive Officer of WHRO Public Media.

One of the first school divisions to install the plaques was Chesapeake Public Schools. They posted about it on social media: “We are proud to support their mission to provide educational programming and resources to our communities. In the coming days, you’ll see ownership plaques installed in all our schools to highlight this partnership.”

Working hand-in-hand with local schools continues to be at the core of WHRO’s mission. Our work impacts 155,000 educators and over 1.2 million students across the Commonwealth of Virginia. From pre-K through high school, we offer resources for kids, teachers and parents.

Locally, we visit schools, libraries and community centers to conduct reading programs, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) activities, and summer camps. Our digital learning distribution platform, eMediaVA, takes our services throughout the Commonwealth by providing free access to more than 125,000 digital learning objects for every public, private, and home schooler in Virginia.

If you see a WHRO Proud Owner Plaque at your local school, please post to your social media accounts using #WHROPROUDOWNER