A group of children sit around a table. Some of the children are cutting tomatoes. They are at a farmers market.

PBS KIDS Community Learning Cohort Celebrates Impact

August 24, 2021 Marci Glaus Leave a Comment

This summer, 15 library staff members from around the state celebrated their participation in the PBS Wisconsin Education PBS KIDS Community Learning Cohort. The purpose of the cohort was to elevate family and community learning engagement through hands-on, learner-centered experiences that explore play, meaningful media integration, inquiry, and engineering and design for families with children ages 2-8 while building a community of practice with fellow library staff. 

Library staff expanded their knowledge of PBS KIDS Ready to Learn digital media resources and received a $1,000 grant and technical assistance to support their PBS KIDS program implementation this summer. 

One stop on the La Crosse Public Library StoryWalk.

Beginning in January, PBS Wisconsin Education engagement staff provided virtual play-based, skill-building workshops to support youth services library staff in providing meaningful integration of free, high-quality PBS KIDS educational media. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, participating library staff served more than 1,100 young children and their families through their PBS KIDS program implementation.

Brooke Newberry, an early literacy librarian for the La Crosse Public Library, found a natural connection to PBS KIDS programming. She integrated science inquiry prompts from the PBS KIDS series Elinor Wonders Why with the library outdoor StoryWalk. The StoryWalk was built on a popular community walking path, fitted with pages from Carole Lindstrom’s We are Water Protectors.

“This is such a great program to meet other librarians in Wisconsin and learn about the multitude of options PBS Wisconsin has to offer us,” Newberry said. 

Sheva Abeles-Allison, the communications and community engagement coordinator for the Vaughn Public Library in Ashland, hosted a summer learning event at their local farmer’s market. Children and families used local produce to make fresh salsa and continued their learning at home with Molly of Denali’s Alaska Native “Nivagi” ice cream recipe and corresponding media

Families making fresh salsa at the local farmer’s market in Ashland.

Families are always excited to have their kids participate at the farmer’s market,” Abeles-Allison said. “Facilitating programming was great. My coworkers were excited to participate and created a good experience for the kids and their families.”

All PBS KIDS Community Learning Cohort library staff plan to continue using PBS KIDS digital media resources in future youth programming. Congratulations to the inaugural cohort for a job well done reaching so many children and families:

Elizabeth Timmins, Seymour – Muehl Public Library

Brooke Newberry, La Crosse – La Crosse Public Library

Chris Meyer, Endeavor – Endeavor Public Library

Kirsten Almo, Edgerton – Edgerton Public Library

Michelle Johnson, Hammond – Hammond Community Library

Marci Siehr, Kenosha – Kenosha Public Library/Kenosha Public Library Bookmobile

Jamie Mercer, Port Washington – W.J. Niederkorn Library

Taylor Hamann, Delafield – Delafield Public Library

Ali Michalek, Racine –  Racine Public Library

Amy Peterson, Lena – Lena Public Library

Carolyn Friedemann, North Lake – Town Hall Library

Jayme Anderson, Milton – Milton Public Library

Sheva Abeles-Allison, Ashland – Vaughn Public Library

Laura Robinson, Keshena – S. Verna Fowler Academic Library / Menominee Public Library

Katie Guzek, Green Bay – Brown County Library

Emily Vincent, Palmyra – Powers Memorial Library

Lara Lakari, Marinette – Marinette County Consolidated Public Library Service

Julia Metcalf, Oxford – Oxford Public Library

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