The Frazier School District became the second area district to team with a regional media company for a program that provides schools with resources to engage elementary learners.
Frazier Elementary School was selected by WQED Education to participate in its “Smart Schools” initiative that brings PBS content directly to the classroom to create “innovative and impactful learning experiences,” according to a release from the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit multimedia group announcing the partnership.
Frazier students and staff will receive educational resources and content focusing on STEM, literacy and technology education. The one-year partnership was made possible with financial support from Chevron Corp.
“This opportunity to partner with WQED has helped us bring necessary resources and programs to optimize our development of the whole child at Frazier Elementary,” said Dr. Kelly Muic, principal of Frazier Elementary School. “We are excited to share these resources with our families and the Frazier community.”
According to WQED, Smart Schools is intended to empower teachers to create innovative, imaginative learning experiences using researched-based, parent-trusted content from PBS.
Through the program, schools have the opportunity to receive professional development, access PBS family engagement programs such as family and community learning workshops, screen premiers of PBS shows before they air on TV and offer afterschool programs to students and families.
WQED, which operates two radio stations and a PBS television station, is notable for its educational programming for children, including the production of the once long-running TV series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
Frazier Elementary hosted a community kick-off event for the Smart Schools program Thursday featuring activities from PBS children’s programs. The event, which focused on math education, also highlighted literacy development and STEM resources.
“WQED is thrilled for this opportunity to work with the educators and families at Frazier Elementary,” said Gina Masciola, Director of Education Partnerships at WQED. “We are looking forward to learning how we can best support learning and family engagement for this fabulous community.”
Frazier joins another Fayette County school district in the Smart Schools program. Laurel Highlands’ four elementary schools were selected at the start of the 2018-19 school year to participate in the new initiative.
Each school at Laurel Highlands last year received tablet devices, iPads, literacy and coding programs, family programs and branding materials, in addition to access to professional development, curricula, instructional practices and PBS characters for district and community events.
Three elementary schools in the Steel Valley, Sto-Rox and Wilkinsburg school districts, all in Allegheny County, round out the participating schools in the program.