WCTE will air two hours of instructional programming for local students beginning April 6.
Station President Becky Magura said the six public television stations statewide will partner with the State Department of Education Commissioner Peggy Schwinn on the programming. It will likely include teaching, focused on reading and math.
“It will be specific home-based instruction provided by the Department of Education,” Magura said. “The commissioner mentioned specifically that early literacy would be a big part of that. They recognize that our school children by the third grade really need to be on grade level with reading. That will shape the rest of their trajectory in school.”
The programming will air weekdays from 10am-12Noon. In addition, WCTE and the other stations statewide will present four hours of instruction overnight that parents can DVR and use as they wish.
The plan came together Tuesday as Governor Bill Lee closed all Tennessee schools until at least April 24.
“We got into action all the general managers across the state,” Magura said. “We literally agreed upon the time frame and the ability yesterday.”
Magura said it will be reminiscent of the old Instructional Television system.
“Where the teacher actually teaches on TV,” Magura said. “We think this is another opportunity. The commissioner said point-blank we know there are children throughout Tennessee who do not have internet or do not have a device.”
In addition, WCTE will continue to provide its PBS Kids service on its fourth digital channel as usual. The channel provides 24-hour-a-day childrens programming. If you have an antenna, you can access the channel on 22-4. It is also available on Twin Lakes systems.