Spotlight on Rural Community Impact

It’s important to know about the new programs and initiatives across the system. Learn how PBS is partnering with stations and community stakeholders to improve the impact of teachers in rural communities.

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Academic success can sometimes feel out of reach, especially for students in rural communities where it can be a challenge to gain access to the latest technology and resources. To help address this critical issue, PBS launched the PBS Teacher Community Program. This grassroots initiative aims to harness the unique strengths of public media and local knowledge to help teachers level the playing field for their students.

With the help of a private funder, PBS Education has awarded grants to help five stations hire Teacher Ambassadors to work in local rural communities.

The cohort of station partners include:                

  • Southern Oregon Public Television
  • Iowa Public Television
  • MontanaPBS
  • Idaho Public Television
  • Prairie Public Broadcasting

The Teacher Ambassadors from each station will work directly with local teachers and stakeholders to overcome obstacles and create meaningful opportunities for teachers to enhance their practice. These opportunities will include helping local teachers gain access to professional development, teacher meet-ups, virtual field trips, webinars and workshops. By empowering teachers, we empower students.

The PBS Teacher Community Program participants and mentors recently met in Crystal City, VA (near PBS HQ) for a three day planning meeting. PBS Development Services contributed to the gathering by facilitating a discussion on the role of philanthropy in supporting and sustaining the program beyond the term of the grant. During the discussion, the participants worked in groups to create a catalog of case expressions that will resonate with local donors and funders. A consensus was reached that fundraising and resource development is a part of everyone’s job.

For anyone in public media, especially development, it’s important to know about impactful programs across the system. These programs may be replicable in your community in support of our public service mission. Stay tuned for future updates on the PBS Teacher Community Program. 

Meet the Teacher Ambassadors!

Ben Garcia, Southern Oregon Public Television
Mekca Wallace Spurgin, Iowa Public Television
Nikki Vradenburg, MontanaPBS
Kari Wardle, Idaho Public Television
Darcy Bakkegard, Prairie Public Broadcasting