Many of Eastern Virginia's residents know WHRO Public Media for its entertaining PBS television programs, its informative news and talk radio shows on WHRV FM, and the inspiring classical music and fine arts performances on WHRO FM, but they don't realize what an impact WHRO has in the field of education. Our WHRO staff recently had the opportunity to highlight some of their services for WHRO's Board of Directors.

Educational Specialist Rosalie Rodriquez (far right) demonstrates coding with the Scratch Jr. app.

Board members explored various WHRO Education learning areas and experienced the hands-on activities that students participate in through our Literacy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Van programs. From becoming an Odd-Squad agent and using math and science skills to solve cases, to animating characters through the Scratch Jr. app, board members got a taste of the literacy, STEM and coding programs that WHRO offers throughout the community.

Early Childhood Coordinator Martha Razor discusses WHRO's literacy programs.

WHRO’s educational services reach 155,000 educators and over 1.2 million students across the Commonwealth of Virginia. In just the last fiscal year, WHRO Education conducted numerous learning programs, van visits, and professional trainings throughout Eastern Virginia.

Just to highlight a few:

124 Van visits - 74 STEM Van, 50 Raising Readers Van
3,094 First Books & 8,746 activity booklets distributed
1,021 Caregivers/educators received professional development
12,000 Hours of high-quality researched based television programs
17,837 Children and 16,903 families participated in events and activities

These hands-on services are helping educators and parents inspire children to become better readers, ensuring children from low-income areas receive books when they may not have an opportunity to own them otherwise, and exposing children to science, technology, engineering and math skills that will be critical as the local job market continues to evolve toward technology-dependent positions.

Curious George also showed up to visit with board members.

All of this is in addition to the professional development courses that WHRO offers for local educators; eMediaVA, the online learning platform available to all local educators that offers digital learning objects for use in their classrooms; the excellent television programming from PBS Kids; and the recently developed WHRO Kids website that offers a 24/7 stream of Kids television shows, interactive games, and apps for children.

As one board member so eloquently expressed it: “WHRO doesn’t just entertain, it engages the brain!”

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