NET Helps Improve Early Childhood Education Across the State

News Release Date: 
May 21, 2014

NET Works to Improve Early Childhood Education in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (May 21, 2014) -- NET is working to strengthen early childhood education across the state and has recently hired Emily Nash to spearhead this priority. Nash joined NET Learning Services after being the Education Department Manager at the Lincoln Children’s Museum for five-and-a-half years. She has also operated an early learning center for 10 years prior to her position at the Children’s Museum. She holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and a master’s degree in early childhood education from California State University at San Bernardino. 

“As our early childhood education specialist, Emily plays a key role in our commitment to increasing the achievement of early learners as they prepare for, and enter, elementary school,” said Gary Targoff, NET’s Assistant General Manager of Education. “Emily will be working with parents, educators, caregivers and of course children, to expose them to the many resources available through PBS as well as working to create our own tools.”

Two of Nash’s initial responsibilities will be the implementation of the PBS Kids Summer Learning Project and the Nebraska Ready To Learn program.

The PBS Kids Summer Learning Project is organized around four related learning concepts and dedicated to helping the state’s youngest learners.  The Project runs for 13 weeks and covers subjects including geography, culture, math and history. “I look forward to being a part of this exciting effort,” Nash said.  “The  line-up  will offer solid learning tools, coupled with the engagement and entertainment of popular PBS Kids programming such as ‘The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!,’ ‘WordGirl,’ ‘Super Why!,’ ‘Martha Speaks,’ ‘Dinosaur Train,’ ‘Peg + Cat,’ ‘Curious George,’ ‘Wild Kratts,’ ‘Arthur’ and ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.’”

Each thematic unit will offer free learning curricula and activities to teachers and students. Resources will be available to any individual interested in maintaining a learning environment for their children during the summer months and is aimed at youth ages 2-8.

Another major initiative Nash will be responsible for implementing is Nebraska Ready to Learn.  Ready To Learn is a national partnership between the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting System under the U.S. Department of Education Ready To Learn grant. NET is one of only 15 public media organizations to receive a recent allocation from CPB in support of its Ready to Learn efforts.

Ready To Learn is a coordinated educational experience that connects concepts learned in preschool, school, after school, summer programs and at home to strengthen children’s math and literacy skills. NET and the State Department of Education/Office of Early Childhood/Head Start-State Collaboration Office are partnering in piloting Nebraska Ready To Learn. Ready To Learn activities and media were created by children’s media producers and technology developers to provide high-quality, non-commercial, age-appropriate, educational content for 2-8 year olds that supports math and literacy learning across a range of technologies.

“We are currently working with two communities and are making plans to roll this program out to additional communities as we get closer to the new school year,” said Nash.  “It is our hope to create a model that can be replicated in communities across the state.”

For more information on NET’s early childhood initiatives including PBS children’s programming, visit netNebraska.org/readytolearn.

-30-

CONTACTS: Gary Targoff, NET Assistant General Manager, Education, 402-470-6268 or gtargoff@netNebraska.org, or Emily Nash, NET Early Childhood Education Specialist, 402-470-6690 or enash@netNebraska.org

RELEASE WRITTEN BY: Gary Brienzo, 402-470-6578, or email at gbrienzo@netNebraska.org

NET Television: NET1 is Nebraska's first public television broadcast service and includes PBS and award-winning, locally produced public television programming; NET2 World offers live coverage of the Nebraska Unicameral, and other news and public affairs programming; NET3 Create is a 24-hour channel featuring the most popular how-to, travel and lifestyle series.

NET Nebraska App: NET has developed the NET Nebraska App for mobile devices to provide Nebraskans fast access to live and on-demand Television, Radio and digital content. The NET Nebraska App is available as a free download in the Apple App Store or Google Play. For more information, visit netNebraska.org/apps.