Over a year ago, as the WVIA leadership team was formulating a strategic plan, we thought of calling it our “2020 Vision.” So far the spring of 2020 has brought unexpected challenge after challenge for all of us in this region, throughout America, and around the world. At times it seems that all the news is bad news. But WVIA has good news to share, thanks to your support.
First and foremost is our Learn at Home service. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close, some students had access to online learning opportunities, but many had no such access. So VIA rescheduled our main TV channel with PBS Kids episodes, Nature, NOVA, and other fine educational programs selected for alignment with Pennsylvania Department of Education curriculum standards, pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Then we identified online resources such as lesson plans, activity sheets, and other materials coordinated to the broadcast programs and made them all available free to parents, teachers, and students on our website. Then we worked with area Intermediate Units and school districts to invite teachers to create over 100 video lessons tied in with these programs.
Learn at Home was not in our “2020 Vision” a year ago. But suddenly the world changed, we saw a need, and suddenly VIA was providing a new public service.
Now as the school year winds down, high school seniors face their graduation year without proms, award ceremonies, and commencement festivities. So VIA TV is airing special Senior Salute video features weekdays at 4 PM produced by many area schools to honor their graduating classes.
The schools have lost a lot of instructional time, so on June 15 VIA TV will launch a summer schedule of educational programs, and we’re preparing to ramp up Learn at Home in the fall, in case it’s needed. None of this was in our “2020 Vision.” But these and many more initiatives have all come about due to the nimble work of many on the VIA team. I’m proud of their dedication, and I’m grateful for the support of many VIA members, sustainers, corporate partners, and foundations for making all this pubic service possible.
We’ll get through this, together. And we’ll make our region better, together.
Senior Vice President
VIA Public Media
VIA Public Media educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.
A joyful, engaged, well-informed, compassionate community via public media.