Partnering with WCNY to Bring TV Classroom Network to Life

By Virginia Limmiatis

National Grid has provided $25,000 in funding to support the launch of WCNY’s TV Classroom Network, a series of daily educational programs for an estimated 12,000 children across Central New York who do not have home internet access. WCNY, the region’s community-owned public broadcaster, has partnered with teachers from the Syracuse City School District to make the educational programming network available across 19 Central New York counties.

“With schools closed, children are experiencing a major disruption to their education,” said Mitch Gelman, WCNY President & CEO. “The TV Classroom will ensure students can continue to learn and connect with teachers and maintain a classroom experience at home.” Filmed from WCNY’s television studios, the TV Classroom provides lessons for grades K–12 from Syracuse-area teachers covering core-curriculum subjects, as well as arts, culture and music appreciation. The TV Classroom network is also valuable to parents, who are now juggling the demands of work with the education of their homebound children.

Gelman noted that education is at the core of WCNY’s mission and right now, this mission is more important than ever. “We are pleased to use our broadcast capabilities and the classroom-styled set we assembled for instruction to provide needed educational services to students, educators and families by developing a community classroom during this challenging time.”

“All of us are adjusting to new ways of working and learning,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “The TV Classroom Network is critical to our children’s educational experience while schools are closed. We are proud to support WCNY and the teachers across the region who are bringing innovative and engaging programs to students in the safety and comfort of their home.”

Through the network, many of Central New York’s top teachers are providing students with grade-specific lessons. TV Classroom will start each day with story time and end each day with a field trip. It will feature math, science, social studies, English language arts, health and fitness, arts & culture courses and documentary and learning content from the PBS collection.

“This is a wonderful partnership and I am so happy that we are able to provide this academic resource for our students and families,” said Jaime Alicea, Syracuse City School District Superintendent. “We have amazing teachers and educational leaders in the Syracuse City School District, and I want to thank them for reimagining what learning looks like at this moment in time.”

Learning materials, program schedules and teacher biographies can be found at wcny.org/tvclassroom. In addition, educational content for parents, caregivers, teachers, and educators is available at wcny.org/stayconnected.

The TV Classroom network airs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays on WCNY’s GLOBAL CONNECT channel and will be simulcast from wcny.org and via a live stream on YouTube. The classes will also be published on demand at wcny.org/tvclassroom, It is available across the following 19 Central New York counties:

Broome          Cayuga          Chenango

Cortland         Delaware       Herkimer

Jefferson        Lewis             Madison

Oneida           Onondaga     Ontario

Oswego         Otsego           Schuyler

Seneca          Tompkins        Wayne

Yates

The funding for the program is part of National Grid’s support of Enterprise America, a first of its kind program in New York state that offers middle school and high school students a real-life immersive learning experience focused on STEM skills, entrepreneurship and financial and civic literacy.