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8 Reasons AETN is a Smart Investment

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As Arkansas’s only statewide television and public service network, AETN enjoys a special charge: to educate, enrich and inspire Arkansans of all ages. How are we accomplishing that mission — on air and beyond — for just $3 per Arkansan annually?  Here are just eight of the many ways we’re providing deeply necessary lifelong learning opportunities:

1.) AETN is much more than television.

AETN is a flourishing public service media network that serves Arkansas’s most at-risk populations, and we’re moving the needle on education in ways that go well beyond our broadcasts for just pennies a day. 

AETN is both a leader and an essential partner committed to the achievement of critical state and national educational goals. We are a resource for lifelong learning to educators, parents, students and all Arkansans — from a preschooler watching “Sesame Street” to a coach who learn how to save students’ lives through ArkansasIDEAS heat illness professional development courses.

In addition producing to award-winning, educational, original programming, AETN: 
  • engages communities to discuss hard topics and find solutions.
  • creates and distributes free professional development material to Arkansas educators.
  • provides dedicated support to learners of all ages through Early Childhood Education and Adult Education initiatives.
  • works with Arkansas schools, preschools, daycares, libraries, museums, state agencies and many more community partners to create and support varied educational initiatives.  

2.) AETN is bridging the gap in preschool education.

55% of Arkansas 3 to 4 year olds are not enrolled in any qualified preschool or nursery at all, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

AETN invests in these at-risk preschoolers by airing non-commercial, research based children’s programming every day.  To help prepare our state’s children for school, our primary channel broadcasts more than 40 hours of programming for preschool children per week — something rarely found on commercial stations.


AETN’s PBS KIDS programming — which has been named the No. 1 educational media brand for more than 10 years — is also considered the safest destination for children to watch television or visit online and the top provider of content that helps children build reading and math skills. (CARAVAN ORC International, Jan. 2015) 

In the past year alone, AETN Early Childhood Education:
  • shared 10,000 educational activity books.
  • distributed more than 400 reading books.
  • gave away 450 free PBS app codes, educational materials and activities to local state agencies, schools and community events.
  • hosted more than 250 parents and guardians at Parent Night events.
  • provided more than 40 hours of tailored professional development training to 400 teachers.

3.) AETN serves Arkansans where they live — no matter how rural or underserved the area.

AETN is a vital public service, and we deliver educational resources on air, online and in person to all Arkansans, no matter where they live. We enrich the lives of viewers — including those in underserved and rural communities with limited access to cable, the internet and satellite providers — by providing important, timely, educational programming and services.

  • On air: AETN offers three educational television channels — AETN-HD, Create and Plus — in addition to partnering with the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Services for the Blind to broadcast the Arkansas Information Reading Services for the Blind (AIRS). AETN provides more than 140 hours of non-commercial programming for children each week.
  • Online: AETN offers  AETN and PBS programs are available online, through streaming devices and on YouTube.
  • In person: AETN hosts screenings, outreach events, trainings, summits and educational trainings to connect Arkansans to our broadcasts, programs and services.

4.) AETN is a national leader in professional development, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE).

ArkansasIDEAS — the first and largest state-funded, comprehensive online professional development resource for educators in the nation — was launched as a cooperative endeavor between AETN and ADE. 

We currently serve 58,000 registered teachers by providing more than 700 high-quality, online courses —  which translates to more than 1,700 hours of available professional development credit. To date, more than 800,000 total credit hours have been awarded.

ArkansasIDEAS is by far the nation's most affordable online professional development, with an average cost of $11.68 per course versus an average of $199 in other states. 


5.) AETN and PBS are trustworthy sources.

PBS and its member stations have been rated No. 1 in public trust for 13 consecutive years, outranking Congress, the Federal Government, newspaper publications, commercial broadcast TV, digital platforms, commercial cable TV and courts of law. (Survey Sampling International CATI, Jan. 2016)

6.) AETN measures success by the impact we make on Arkansans, not by profit.

AETN is an advocate for education, the sharing of information, and focusing on the most at-risk communities for the benefit of us all. What matters to us is treating viewers as citizens, not profit margins.
  • AETN convenes advocates for tough issues to solve problems through programs such as: "Protecting Arkansas Seniors," "Depression," "Telling Amy's Story," "Healing Minds. Changing Attitudes.," "AIDS in Arkansas" and more. 
  • ArkansasIDEAS gives educators the tools they need to make the biggest impact in the classroom, causing student achievement to rise. 
  • Early education programs ready children for school, creating a chance at a lifetime of learning success. 
  • The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-level Reading, of which AETN is a partner, has identified the top indicators for not reading at grade level — parental engagement, school readiness, attendance and summer learning loss — also lead to high dropout rates. AETN is working in each of these areas to help Arkansas third-graders read at grade level by 2020. 
  • AETN works with Arkansas emergency management officials to provide a critical public safety service, using our technology as the backbone for the emergency alert system.

7.) AETN consistently tells the stories of Arkansas’s people and places.

Arkansans depend on AETN to document our state's history, to tell the stories that make Arkansas what it is, and to bring the outdoors, arts and news of our country and beyond directly to their families. AETN has been entrusted to share the state's history and heritage, arts and culture and influential men and women — leading us to air 110 hours of local programs annually and win more than 500 regional, national and international awards. 


8.) AETN is a valuable asset.

Arkansans receive a lasting, daily return on investment that they can see and experience through PBS and AETN broadcasts and online materials — all for an average of just $3 per person each year. 

The American public has named PBS and its member stations an “excellent” use of tax dollars, second only to military defense spending. More than 75% of Americans surveyed believed that money given to PBS stations from governments, corporations, foundations and individuals is money well spent.(Survey Sampling International CATI, Jan. 2016)