WNET UP NEXT: WNET PBS DIGITAL INNOVATORS – Kids Media & Education Department

May 3, 2022

WNET Digital Innovators meeting.

In observation of National Teacher Appreciation Week, WNET UP NEXT celebrates our local teachers with an in-depth look the WNET PBS Digital Innovators Program, which for the past two years has provided a unique online gathering place for 14 outstanding teachers from the tri-state New York City metropolitan region. These teachers have shared with each other fresh ideas that open new worlds for their students, a bold approach to their teaching, and a commitment to social justice to advance a more equitable and diverse outlook for K-12 education.

Hannah Dawe and Kristina Kirtley of The WNET Group’s Kids & Media Education Department relate the story of how the local chapter of the PBS Digital Innovators came to be.  We then hear from four teachers and their experiences with the program:  Jean Kim, an English Language Arts teacher at a New York City Gifted and Talented school in Queens;  Clemencia Acevedo,  a Special Education teacher in West Harlem;  Kimberly Dickstein Hughes, New Jersey’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, who teaches English Language Arts at Haddonfield Memorial High in New Jersey;  Jamie Cacciola-Price, who heads the Drama and Musical Theatre program at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School in Astoria, Queens.

Known as “DIs”, each of the teachers shares with host Tom Stewart their personal stories as educators and the many challenges they face, particularly those brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. They all feel that the DI program has been an invaluable addition to their professional lives; in addition to providing classroom materials from PBS Learning Media and other sources, the program also acted as a place where they could offer each other encouragement and support in a time of great stress.

Fun fact: In the United States, Teacher Appreciation Day was put forth by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1944 as the first Tuesday in May; it has now evolved into Teacher Appreciation Week.  Worldwide, nations honor their teachers on many different dates and times of year.

For more information, visit WNET.org/Eduction

Recorded on April 13, 14, and 19, 2022

Audio Engineering – Josh Broome

Host/Producer – Tom Stewart

Executive Producer/Editor – Daena McBride

Special thanks to Christina Knight

WNET UP NEXT is a presentation of the Design, On Air Promotion, Fundraising and Traffic Department of The WNET Group