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WNIT Joins Michigan PBS Stations in launching Local Learning Channel

May 24, 2021

SOUTH BEND, IN, MAY 24, 2021 – PBS MICHIANA - WNIT has joined the other public television stations serving Michigan communities in the Michigan Learning Channel (MLC), which was launched this year to deliver instructional content and programming to students, parents and teachers, developed in partnership with leading educators and community leaders.

Each public television station has created its own dedicated channel for the MLC. In the WNIT viewing area, it will be broadcast on channel 34.5, beginning June 1, 2021. It will also be available at MichiganLearning.org as a livestream as well as posted for on-demand viewing on a variety of digital and social media platforms, including cell phones and other mobile devices.

The Michigan Learning Channel replaces the temporary At-Home-Learning channel, which WNIT had been broadcasting on channel 34.5 since the beginning of the pandemic. The At-Home-Learning channel was a temporary partnership between the WORLD Channel, PBS Learning Media and WNIT.

The Michigan Learning Channel seeks to ensure accessibility to all students, educators and families. The programming schedule is made available to teachers and school administrators to explore possible integration with lesson plans and can be viewed at MichiganLearning.org/schedule. A sample of the viewing schedule is also attached, as are special events and virtual activities for the coming summer.

WNIT will be broadcasting the Michigan Learning Channel just in time for the MLC’s ambitious Summer supplemental learning program. During an eight-week period from June 21 through August 15, the MLC will be providing academic support for students from Pre-Kindergarten through high school, with instructional program focused on reading, writing and mathematics, along with fitness and exercise activities and fun science.

Each week has a separate theme supported by some of Michigan’s leading museums and other educational organizations. Students in the WNIT broadcast area will also be able to join in weekly virtual events promoting hands-on activities and exploring unique spaces.

Much of the programming has been produced specifically for the MLC, with the guidance of education experts and delivered by educators. Supplemental content is also provided by organizations across Michigan and from nationally respected producers of instructional content.

A sample of the programs available to families and educators includes:

  • Math Mights: Using a variety of strategies to make math fun and promote the understanding of math processes for K-3rd graders from SIS4Teachers, a Michigan-based company
  • Read, Write, ROAR!: An English Language Arts program for kindergarten through 3rd Grade learners, helping them build literacy skills through exercises taught by local teachers.
  • Let’s Learn: Reading, math and science lessons for pre-K to 6th grade from WNET in New York
  • INPact at Home: Exercise breaks designed to motivate kids to get up from their keyboards and get moving, produced by Detroit Public TV and the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology
  • POPChecks: Short messages encouraging students to Pause, Own their feelings and Practice centering themselves, produced for the MLC by Mindful Learning, under the direction of social-emotional learning expert Carla Philibert.
  • Extra Credit: A special summer program for 4th through 6th graders, featuring weekly writing challenges, key math skills and fun activities for summer. Illustrative Math: The most important math skills students need to have mastered in grades 6-8 and Algebra 1.
  • Camp TV: A daily “summer camp” for late elementary and middle school students, providing a wide range of experiences from across the country.

Additional supplemental programming from the PBS library will reinforce the weekly themes. Weekends feature a variety of programming from local sources in social studies and science, as well as documentaries with educational resources.

The Michigan Learning Channel concept has been endorsed by the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA), the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators (MASA) and the Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM).

“We are pleased to announce our partnering with the Michigan Learning Channel. It has been developed in collaboration with leading people in the field of education and with a diverse cross-section of parents and concerned citizens to meet the evolving needs of families and teachers,” said WNIT President and General Manager Greg Giczi. “Public television has a long history of developing age-appropriate educational content in partnership with those closest to the communities we serve.”

“Whether our viewers are in Southwest Michigan or Indiana, they will find the MLC an invaluable resource for the education of students. It uses all platforms at our disposal – over the air, online and through social media – to increase access to educational programming and resources, at home, schools, daycare centers or wherever students may be. There will be a crucial need for this service during the pandemic and into the future.”