Thirteen Reasons People Support Thirteen

March 16, 2017
Guests numbered nearly 1,000 at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center on Winter's Eve, November 28, 2016.

Guests numbered nearly 1,000 at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center on Winter’s Eve, November 28, 2016.

Your PBS Station THIRTEEN has shown you the world, enlightened you about history, engaged you in science and the diversity of human experience.

You’ve learned what to call things and question what it all may mean.

From learning what emotions are with Daniel the Tiger to de-mystifying math with Cyberchase, to discovering little known facts on Nature and Antiques Roadshow, to listening to experts respectfully disagree on MetroFocus and PBS NewsHour — everyone can grow with Thirteen. We not only produce high-quality programming seen by 4.4 million viewers monthly, we’re also part of your community.

13 reasons to Support THIRTEEN


1. Access to the Arts

A music hall in Vienna, the Metropolitan Opera House, an award-winning Off-Broadway theater, a sold-out concert – THIRTEEN brings performance venues and esteemed artists to wherever you want to watch — your television, tablet, phone or any streaming video device. Great Performances, Front and Center, Theater Close-Up, Theater Talk, the weekly NYC-ARTS and more — your ticket to arts and cultural events.

2. Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Our multi-lingual online series New York Parenting Minutes focuses on key topics related to early childhood learning and raising children in New York City. Each video page contains shareable tips and facts, as well as links to more free resources and information.

3. Balanced News Coverage

PBS NewsHour prides itself on fair, balanced and accurate reporting, and hosting guest experts who voice opposing views with civility. While the three major network news programs lost viewers in February 2016, PBS NewsHour is the only network news program to have increased its viewership. TVnewser elaborates that for the period from October – January, PBS NewsHour viewership is up 24 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The election-related activities of the NewsHour Weekend team – who work in-house at THIRTEEN— included assisting NewsHour Special Coverage of election night at both candidates’ headquarters in New York City.

MetroFocus is THIRTEEN’s weeknight news program focusing on the New York region. The program features news, smart conversations, in-depth reporting, content from many partners and solutions-oriented reports from nonprofit leaders, officials and scholars. Major areas of coverage include sustainability, education, science and technology, the environment, transportation, poverty and underserved communities.

See more of our news and public affairs programs.

4. Community Screenings, Discussions and Civic Engagement

We’re all connected. Not just by watching the same programs, but watching them together.

Thirteen works with partners across the tri-state area to offer free screenings and panel discussions about important films, including Black Panthers Vanguard of a Revolution at the Apollo and American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise at libraries in The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County.

Thirteen held a Voter Registration Day at its Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center, and helps Community Boards in The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn live stream and archive its meetings.

5. Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion starts with diverse creators. THIRTEEN’s Inclusion and Diversity Council leads a guest speaker series covering challenges, advances and advice for various professional fields, from the film industry to performing arts. The series is available to the public with Facebook live streams and online video. Thirteen also offers a mentorship program for new employees.

6. Drop Out Prevention

Broadcast live from Tisch WNET Studios to public television stations across the country on September 17, 2016, the 5th annual American Graduate Day focused on mentorship as a solution to one of the nation’s biggest education challenges — graduation rates. Hosted by Soledad O’Brien, American Graduate Day featured leading education, media and celebrity figures such as General and Mrs. Colin Powell, Shaquille O’Neal, Rachel Platten, Allison Williams, Elmo, Wynton Marsalis and Prince Royce who addressed how mentoring can help close the graduation gap and shared inspirational stories from across the nation.

7. Educator Resources

In 2016, more than 74,000 New York educators accessed curriculum-ready resources for free from PBS LearningMedia New York, featuring materials created by WNET Education.

WNET provided PBS LearningMedia training to 25 science teachers in District 75, the network of New York City Department of Education schools that serve special education students. Teachers learned how to use digital media with their students and let us know the types of support materials that would be the most effective for special needs students.

8. Events for Children with Special Needs

In 2016, the Thomas & Friends Autism-Friendly Event was conducted in collaboration with our Education Department. Children on the autism spectrum and their families enjoyed activities, screenings, sing-alongs, and a meet-and-greet with Thomas — who happens to be a favorite character among children with autism — at the Union County Performing Center.

9. Technology and Innovation

THIRTEEN strives to make sure our content can reach you anywhere, on whatever device. You can watch our content on our site and on Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and mobile devices with our Thirteen Explore app.

WNET Education partnered with Expeditions, Google’s field-trip simulation system, to provide schools with
immersive, virtual excursions to New York City destinations such as the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Apollo Theatre, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, the Hamilton Grange, the Merchant House, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Statue of Liberty, and the Transit Museum.

At Scratch Camp, WNET Education taught 21 second and third graders how to use computational thinking to design and create coding programs with the free PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. app. More than 25 early elementary educators received a three-hour professional development experience highlighting ways of using coding in STEM activities and across the curriculum.

10. Outreach to People in Need

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Department of Social Services (DSS), WNET created a Children’s Wait Room at the PATH Intake Center in the South Bronx. The goal was to provide a new safe, relaxing and educational space for all NYC children whose families are applying for shelter as a result of domestic violence. Working with members of the DHS Public-Private Partnership Team, Sesame Workshop and the PATH Intake Center’s directors, WNET provided PBS KIDS programming on two new television sets, educational activities, books, family resources, plush toys, story-time rugs, age-appropriate PBS KIDS apps for in-house tablets, and Sesame Workshop guides.

The WNET Education Department later provided training to seven new staff members who will be managing the Child Wait Space/Early Learning Center. The workshop focused on ways staff can use favorite PBS KIDS characters to connect with children and effectively use media to inspire educational activities at the center. WNET also provided resources to help staff to engage with families and continue learning at home through PBS KIDS and PBS Parents activities. Together, the group brainstormed ways to use resources like New York Parenting Minutes and PBS LearningMedia for family engagement and educational fun.

11. Programs with Intelligence and without Interruption

On broadcast or streaming, we don’t interrupt your viewing pleasure with commercials (ok, we do have a few pledge broadcast interruptions, but those have been reduced, as promised!). Masterpiece’s British dramas such as Victoria and Downton Abbey, the local arts scene with NYC-ARTS, mysteries and solutions offered by science and nature on NOVA and Nature, and in-depth investigative reporting by Frontline are just a few of the best programs anywhere that THIRTEEN offers.

12. Public Events for All

Our events are free for all ages.

In October 2016, nearly 3,000 New Yorkers attended the PBS premiere screening of Great Performances:
Hamilton’s America
at United Palace Theater in Washington Heights, which was followed by a discussion with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and filmmaker Alex Horwitz.

Nearly 1,000 people joined us at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center during the Lincoln Square BID’s fabulous Winter’s Eve celebration on November 28, 2016. Children were thrilled to meet Daniel the Tiger and Bob the Builder. This was our eighth year joining the festivities as a participant and media partner.

13. Your Memories

Bob Ross. Elmo. Mr. Rogers. Reading Rainbow. Julia Child.

We all have a favorite memory of a program that moved us or taught us or made us laugh. We hear from dozens of people each year who credit us with changing their life: a dancer who saw a first ballet, a musician who was inspired to learn classical guitar; a cab driver who learned English from Sesame Street; an archaeologist who found his calling from watching Nature. Only on PBS.

Let Legislators know you Stand With THIRTEEN

The proposed Federal budget was released March 16, and as we feared, funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has been eliminated. CPB funds all public broadcasting, including THIRTEEN. Your federal legislators will consider the proposed budget between now and October 2017. See our suggested language for a letter, email or phone call to legislators.

Find Your Legislators

Find your federal representatives and their contact details by entering your home zipcode on the site

Find Your Legislators (for New York City Residents)

New York City residents can access complete contact details and social media accounts of federal, state and city representatives with this guide, made especially for New York City residents, below.