World Premiere of Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America + Classroom Resources on Architecture & Design

indexWGBY invites you to the world premiere of Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, an in-depth study of the architect’s complex life and accomplishments this Sunday, 13 April, from 4 – 6 pm at The Academy of Music, Northampton.  In addition to major contributions to the American landscape, such as co-designing Central Park, heading the first Yosemite commission, and designing the U.S. Capitol Grounds, Olmstead designed Smith, Mt. Holyoke, UMass and Amherst, and his firm created parks in Springfield and Holyoke MA.  (Who remembers Riverside Park?) Continue reading

WGBY Feature: “Divided We Stand: A Street in Our School”

Gerena_225x173WGBY announces the launch of “Divided We Stand: A Street in Our School,” a special Connecting Point series that will present various sides of one of the area’s longtime community issues: the tunnel beneath I-91 that runs through the Germán Gerena Community School in Springfield’s North End.

Built in 1973, the school currently serves 700 children.  Because of the building’s close proximity to I-91, a tunnel was built on the lower level of the school so that students and members of the larger community, divided once the interstate was constructed, could safely walk from one side of their neighborhood to the other. Over time, “the tunnel,” as residents refer to it, became more than a passageway linking Plainfield and Main Streets. It became a pathway providing access to varied community services. A generation came to depend on the organizations that filled space within the tunnel itself.

Yet, due largely to extensive flooding and structural damage, time has changed this once vibrant space. Community spaces now stand empty.As residents and city leaders discuss their vision for the Gerena School and tunnel, WGBY explores its past and present. Viewers will learn just how much happens in this place they don’t see.

For the first time, WGBY will provide Spanish subtitles for the series of segments, airing periodically between March and May. The series’ first segment, available online, included a discussion about the school and the status of repairs to the tunnel with Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno and School Superintendent Daniel Warwick.

Future air dates are as follows: March 27, April 24, April 30 & May 20-22.

WGBY invites viewer feedback and especially encourages people who live near Gerena, largely members of the city’s Latino community, to contribute memories, stories or opinions throughout the series’ run.

Join WGBY for LittleFest This Saturday!

WGBY has once again partnered with the Springfield Museums and the Springfield City Library to host “LittleFest” on Saturday, September 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join us at this day-long event that will foster a love of reading in children of all ages.  Super Why and Princess Presto from the hit PBS Kids show, Super Why, will be available for meet and greets throughout the day.  Performances for families from Steve Wronker and Robert Rivest are scheduled in the morning and afternoon.   Additional activities include hands-on demonstrations and arts and crafts.

Thanks to a partnership with the WGBH Educational Foundation and the Krueger Charitable Foundation, WGBY will be on hand to giveaway a free book, Lola at the Library, to the first 350 young readers in attendance (while supplies last).

LittleFest activities are free, but non-Springfield residents and non-WGBY members must pay museum admission to participate in indoor activities held in the Museum galleries.  Visit the Museums website formore Information.  The event is supported in part by the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation.

PBS Kids partners with Virtual Pre-K to strengthen home-school connection

PBS KIDS, as part of the Ready To Learn Initiative has partnered with Virtual Pre-K and Chicago Public Schools to create an interactive program involving parents and teachers to build the home school connection and reinforce math skills for Pre-K.

All the activities you saw in the video above are happening here in Springfield.  As part of Ready To Learn: North End, WGBY is working with our local partners like Holyoke, Springfield, Chicopee Head Start, Square One, and others to bring technology into the classroom and into the community.  By pairing young children with our college-age digital ambassadors, we’re able to show kids that learning how to read and acquiring math skills is fun!  Also, we host drop-in hours at the North End Center for Literacy and Learning for parents to come and try the technology themselves and learn what kinds of things they can do with their child.  To find out about the drop-in program and other Ready to Learn events, visit the program calendar.

Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman takes on the dropout crisis

Photo from WGBY's American Graduate Summit
October 2011

As part of CPB’s American Graduate initiative, Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman takes an in-depth look at nationwide efforts toward ending America’s dropout crisis. This new one-hour HD documentary is A Matter of Leadership. Success stories from schools across the country are highlighted and focus on the core components that have proven highly effective in addressing the crisis, middle school intervention and innovative leadership training.

Check out a photo album of WGBY’s work on the American Graduate Initiative in Springfield.

Springfield Family Resources Conference: April 11 at the MassMutual Center

On Wednesday, April 11,  a coalition of partners will present “Getting from here to there…. A road map to family success!,a conference focused on connecting Springfield families with community programs and resources.

From 9:00am-2:30pm at the MassMutual Center, partners like Springfield Parent Academy, Talk, Read, Succeed!, The United Way of Pioneer Valley, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation and others will offer families educational workshops, career opportunities, and much more.  Transportation will be available from several local schools for convenience.

For all the details, check out the English/Spanish flyer.  To register, visit the Springfield Parent Academy website.

Join WGBY for the Launch of the North End Center for Literacy and Learning

On Friday, February 24 join WGBY and their community partners as we launch the North End Center for Literacy and Learning.  Supported by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Department of Education, this center seeks to support the North End community of Springfield with innovative resources for learning using the PBS Kids Lab.  From 3:30-7:00pm, join us for tours of the center, and meet and greet with Curious George, and an opening ceremony at 5:30pm.  Here’s the invite for this event.  We hope to see you there!

Professional Development Day: Teaching Prohibition and Its Compelling Themes

WGBY and the Springfield Museums are pleased to offer an exciting day of professional development at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, FREE to educators in our region on February 8, 2012 from 8:30am-4:00pm.  Teaching Prohibition and Its Compelling Themes is inspired by the recent, acclaimed PBS documentary from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and designed to give you rich resources from a day filled with presentations, viewings, workshop and tours. You’ll receive lesson plans and activities from the Prohibition film, including a DVD set of the series, and learn about the latest from PBS digital media for classroom resources that reach far beyond this transformational era in our history.

We’ll begin with a light breakfast and later lunch in the Great Hall of the Wood Museum. There, mural-lined walls of Springfield and its residents early in the 20th century and rooms of vintage automobiles evoke the city’s rich history and highlight its present role in shaping its future. We’ll explore the vast resources of the Springfield Museums/Archives and end the day with a special tour of the new exhibit Old Masters to Monet: Three Centuries of French Paintings from the Wadsworth Atheneum.

We’d love you and students to benefit from this special professional development opportunity. Since space is limited, please register soon. We would also appreciate your help in spreading the word by sharing/posting the downloadable flyer. For more information, please contact Bess Kapetanis in WGBY’s Education and Outreach Department: 413.781.2801 ext 292 /

To sign up, please visit our online registration page.

Announcement: WGBY to pilot new PBS KIDS content with Springfield’s North End

WGBY has recently received an award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as a demonstration site to test math and literacy content developed through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn grant.

Working with a coalition of partners, WGBY will implement Ready To Learn: North End, a project that will use educational content on multiple platforms — including video, online games, mobile apps, and off-line activities — that builds an educational experience for kids using innovative technologies. Partners for this project include Springfield Public Schools, Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield HeadStart, Square One, Springfield City Library, Springfield YMCA, Springfield Parent Academy, Springfield Parks Department, The North End Campus Coalition, North End Outreach Network, Cherish Every Child, among others.

Throughout the year, WGBY and their community partners will collaborative:
• Launch the North End Center for Literacy at Learning at the Gerena Community School;
• Train educators on the use of Ready To Learn content through face-to-face training;
• Utilize a peer mentoring approach for training through the use of digital ambassadors, connecting teens with younger youth to demonstrate new technologies;
• Create opportunities for parents and children to play learning games experience how technology can support early learning.

We will keep you posted with updates about our project!  To check out some of the newest PBS KIDS games, visit the PBS KIDS Lab.

WGBY Educator Workshop: “Teaching Prohibition and Its Compelling Themes”

“Teaching Prohibition and Its Compelling Themes”

When: February 8th, 2012

Where: Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA

This professional development for educators is inspired by Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s recent PBS documentary, Prohibition, and will provide rich resources that reach beyond this transformational era including the latest from PBS digital media.  WGBY is partnering with the Wood Museum of Springfield History on a day filled with workshop/presentations, teacher collaboration and tours of the Wood Museum/archives and the D’Amour Museum of Fine Art.  (We’ve even arranged for a sneak peak of the exciting new exhibit Old Masters to Monet:  Three Centuries of French Painting from the Wadsworth Atheneum.)  In addition to PDPs, light breakfast and lunch, and a binder of lessons/activities, teachers will be given the 3-part PBS series Prohibition.

Space will be limited so watch for an upcoming post or WGBY Educator E-newsletter with more about this unique experience free to teachers in our region.  If you’re interested, email Bess Kapetanis at