Funding from competitive KHA grant program will support a series of free workshops across Northeast Florida for children ages 3-5 and their families
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — August 31, 2023 — WJCT Public Media, in partnership with Kids Hope Alliance (KHA), is proud to announce that it will present a series of Family & Community Learning Workshops, starting in September 2023 and extending through May 2024.
Funding for the workshops was provided by Kid’s Hope Alliance as part of a competitive request for proposals focusing on services for children, youth and families in Jacksonville. The workshops will specifically focus on reaching children ages 3-5 and their families.
According to the Duval County Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis published by KHA in 2022, approximately one in three children in Jacksonville (34%) do not enter kindergarten ready to learn. Additionally, an estimated 13% of children experience food insecurity. Each workshop will serve to address both challenges through sequenced experiences that promote creative play and exploration, as well as a family meal. Facilitators will also demonstrate best practices in media usage for young children and provide take-home materials to support ongoing family engagement.
Early childhood education has been at the center of what we do as an organization since our founding, and I’m delighted to be able to expand our work in this space to address a critical need in our region,” said David McGowan, President and CEO of WJCT Public Media. “We’re incredibly excited to partner with KHA to blend the best of PBS KIDS programming with in-person, interactive learning to serve Jacksonville families over the coming year.”
Workshops will leverage the trusted PBS KIDS brand and beloved characters to help young children become kinder, smarter and stronger. Examples of session topics and programming highlights include Learn & Grow Together (social-emotional learning), featuring fun lessons from DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, DONKEY HODIE and SESAME STREET; Play & Learn Science (early learning STEM), in which children and families will dive into the world of science inquiry and the engineering design process through the PBS KIDS Play & Learn science app; and SESAME STREET in Communities (social-emotional learning), using recognizable muppets from SESAME STREET to make big topics more relatable for little learners.
“Through its diverse programs and services, WJCT Public Media demonstrates a shared commitment to the Kids Hope Alliance vision: for every child and youth to reach their academic, career and civic potential,” said Dr. Saralyn Grass, CEO of Kids Hope Alliance. “This partnership will take the exceptional programming that is synonymous with WJCT Public Media into local classrooms, reaching children and families with a meaningful series of workshops that support social-emotional learning at the highest level.”
Monthly workshops will be presented at up to eight early learning sites in Duval County, reaching an estimated 240 individuals. WJCT Public Media will partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Duval County and other community partners to identify early learning centers and sites that serve at-hope children whose family income is at or below the state median income level (SMI). For more information, contact Circe LeNoble at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About WJCT Public Media:
WJCT Public Media is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook (facebook.com/wjctjax) and follow WJCT on Twitter (@WJCTJax) and Instagram (@WJCTJax).
About Kids Hope Alliance:
With the vision that every child and youth will reach their academic, career, and civic potential, Kids Hope Alliance: The Jacksonville Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (KHA), a fiscal agency of the City of Jacksonville, is responsible for overseeing the implementation and management of children and youth programs, services, and activities, accomplished through third-party service providers. For more information, please visit www.kidshopealliance.org.