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Thursday, September 24, 2020

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Houston Public Media offering at-home learning resources for children


The programs are aired at regularly scheduled times and are separated into three grade categories: pre-K through third grade, grades 4-8 and grades 9-12, so all children can have access to educational content that's catered to their age. | Courtesy of UH

The at-home learning programs are separated into three grade categories: pre-K through third grade, grades 4-8 and grades 9-12, so all children can have access to educational content that’s catered to their age. | Courtesy of UH

As Houston-area schools transition to distance learning during the coronavirus outbreak, Houston Public Media, a service of UH, has updated their programming schedules to provide educational shows for children in grades K-12.

KUHF (Channel 8) offers educational programming as part of their learning at home program from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. along with additional educational resources online. HPM already offers educational programming as a part of their regular schedule, but the at-home learning resources are an extension to aid those working and learning from home.

“Great TV producers are making great content and great teachers are making great curriculum,” said HPM’s Station Manager Josh Adams. “We figured out how to marry those two together so people can take advantage of it.”

The programs are separated into three grade categories: pre-K through third grade, grades 4-8 and grades 9-12, so all children can have access to educational content that’s catered to their age.

Core curriculum like math, science, American history and literature are all focuses of the service as an effort to provide subjects that students would normally be learning in the classroom, Adams said.

Even after the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end, these kinds of resources will be
just as important, Adams said, as HPM has been providing programming for grades K-6 for over a decade.

As online learning resources have become a useful tool for parents for distance learning, Adams thinks their use will become even more widespread.

“These programs highlight just how important public media is when it comes to education,” Adams said.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced an order to keep Texas schools closed until May 4 to help slow the spread of the virus. Because both parents and their children are at home, many parents have had to adjust to their children’s remote learning along with balancing their work from home schedule.

Yolanda Norman, an assistant director of the College of Engineering’s career center and a member of HPM’s Young Leaders Council, said the at-home learning resources have aided her experience juggling working from home and taking care of her three children.

“With the balance of working remotely for the College of Engineering and supporting
engineering students and needing something for my kids to be able to do where they can still
learn, it’s been very helpful,” Norman said.

Since her children are ages 5, 10 and 13, Norman found the programming to be successful in providing educational content for all ages.

“Throughout the day they change the age range, so they get a chance to watch together
along with their distance learning. It’s a good balance.” Norman said. “Just to hear them talking about it and connecting from there, I think is really awesome.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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