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AETN addresses summer learning loss with public media resources

Posted 03 Jun 2013

As the school year comes to a close, most students are celebrating the end of homework and dreaming of summer adventures – not working to maintain the skills they’ve learned throughout the year. Research shows that students experience significant learning loss when they do not participate in educational activities during the summer months, and that loss is even greater among children in low-income communities. According to a RAND Corporation report, students may lose a month or more of grade level equivalency in math and reading during the summer. The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is working to combat summer learning loss with various local and national public media resources.

Because many children struggle with access to educational opportunities and quality summer programs, AETN is offering a sampling of resources and broadcasts that can help encourage summer learning across the state. AETN impacts student achievement and helps meet critical state and national educational goals by focusing on three main educational areas: providing teachers with online professional development through ArkansasIDEAS in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education; offering early education resources to PreK-4 educators, students, parents and families; and building on the educational foundation laid by PBS by offering resources, initiatives and online activities to all Arkansans.

Families are encouraged to visit and sign children up for the AETN KIDS Club. Subscribers receive an educational monthly newsletter filled with information about special children’s programs, family activity ideas, book suggestions, upcoming events, healthy recipes, contests and more. In addition to the AETN KIDS site, new resource sites for parents and educators are being developed this summer.

AETN recently launched the STEAM Laboratory YouTube channel, Featuring the Little Rock Museum of Discovery's "Mad Scientist" Joel Gordon discussing science, technology, engineering, arts and math, this channel will keep kids learning with new episodes throughout the summer. His experiments and demonstrations help visitors learn about STEAM in an exciting and fun environment.

AETN is an outreach partner for the Arkansas Grade-Level Reading Campaign, whose goal is that by 2020 all children will read at grade level by the end of the third grade. Parents of students in kindergarten through third grade can learn more about loss of reading skills during the summer at the campaign website,

AETN PBS LearningMedia provides Arkansans with strategies, tools and professional development resources needed to fully utilize digital learning. The site,, allows for instant access to tens of thousands of digital resources, including videos, games, audio clips, photos, lesson plans and more.

PBS KIDS will provide families with a variety of free and educational resources to encourage young learners to continue learning and exploring over summer vacation. Resources include 10 weeks of special on-air programming, a variety of online resources, and outreach partnerships.Beginning Monday, June 3, PBS KIDS will present 10 weeks of themed programming to inspire children ages 2-8 to explore and learn. The line-up includes:

PBS KIDS is working with the following select group of partners to encourage literacy and learning:

PBS KIDS has also made available online and mobile resources. Select program episodes and clips will be featured on and on the free PBS KIDS Video App. Each week June 3-Aug. 16 a special episode will be available as a free download on iTunes. At parents and caregivers will find free, downloadable activity guides and printables to host reading parties and more. Literacy-focused games and activities will be available for kids at PBS KIDS also offers more than 25 educational mobile apps available on iOS and Android.

In an effort to support math skills by providing resources for parents, PBS KIDS launched "It All Adds Up" earlier this year in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The project encompasses more than 100 games and apps, as well as multiplatform tools, including:

All of these resources are accessible on PBS KIDS Lab (, a site that aggregates games, apps and offline activities to help support math and reading learning for kids 2-8.

Adults and kids alike will find learning fun with the PBS Idea Channel on YouTube, The Idea Channel features Mike Rugnetta examining the connections between pop culture, technology and art. New videos are posted every Wednesday.