Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 | 1:21 p.m.
Bringing Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street gang into the hearts and homes of local children isn't the only way Las Vegas PBS sparks an interest in learning in the valley's youngest residents.
During a recent meeting held by the School Board Trustee who serves most of the Silverado area, Carolyn Edwards, Las Vegas PBS Director of Educational Media Lee Solonche described the myriad of educational programs the station brings to the classroom.
"Our mission is to get education resources to those who need it," Solonche said to the group of educators and parents at the meeting.
Among the ways the station brings its educational lessons to students is through video streaming, by providing resources for the visually and hearing impaired and by giving teachers access to free online professional development.
Through the video streaming program, educators are given access to more than 5,000 full-length videos and 50,000 clips of core-curriculum, standards-based video programs that they may show in their classrooms.
Solonche said the programs allow teachers to build their own customized thematic unit.
For the visually and hearing impaired students in the Clark County School District, Las Vegas PBS airs specially tailored programs and has also created custom designed literacy learning kits.
Solonche joked that recent interns of the station had to outfit hundreds of educational dolls with speakers that would be used to give audio descriptions.
As for those who teach the students, they may bring more to their classrooms through Las Vegas PBS' professional development program.
Online graduate-level courses approved by the Nevada Department of Education and the school district are offered free to district educators by the station.
Solonche said other programs available through Las Vegas PBS include access to educational content like educator-posted lessons or video, the Ready to Learn program for students of Title I schools, and providing detailed information to first responders in the event of a school crisis.
Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or [email protected].