The At-Home Learning Initiative was created to help solve remote learning gaps across the state, specifically for students who lack access to a stable internet connection. With funds from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) through the CARES Act, the Friday Institute facilitated the creation and implementation of 192 literacy and math lessons for PreK-5 students as part of the remote education initiative. 144 of those lessons for PreK-3 will air on PBS North Carolina (PBS NC), formerly UNC-TV. Reaching over 30 million households statewide on free public television, the new Classroom Connection program from PBS NC seeks to fill gaps in access to quality early learning instruction.
All 192 recorded lessons will be available on YouTube for free with accompanying lesson plans and extension activities accessible on GoOpenNC. Classroom Connection literacy lessons will be broadcast on PBS NC Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8-10 a.m., starting Feb. 2, and math lessons will join the lineup in March on Monday and Thursday mornings. Lessons will be paired with PBS Kids programs. To view all specific air times for Classroom Connection, visit PBS NC here.
The Friday Institute conceptualized the broadcast lesson format in literacy and math, provided ongoing support during lesson development, and recruited and supported accomplished educators to design lessons and extension activities. The Friday Institute Research and Evaluation team, who are separate from the lesson design team, is providing the evaluation of the initiative.
Friday Institute Executive Director Hiller Spires, Ph.D., and her team will conduct research with the initiative’s teacher participants in order to develop a model for broadcast pedagogy that can be introduced into the professional literature.