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Civics education resources empower, engage voters, families leading up to elections

Posted 17 Sep 2020

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS has created a hub for civics education leading up to the 2020 elections to empower and engage voters, students and families. Tools, resources and an original digital series are available now at

“Viewers and voters depend on Arkansas PBS’s debates during election years,” Arkansas PBS Executive Director and CEO Courtney Pledger said. “For this election season, we’ve gone a step further to immerse voters, families and classrooms in the civic process.

“Our toolkits, digital shorts and interactive resources will help enable all Arkansans to be good citizens and make their voices heard.”

Arkansas PBS educators have developed “Assemble” toolkits for parents and teachers to help guide and engage children through the civics process. “Assemble” explains how to create opportunities to talk with children about being a good citizen and the elections process early on, in turn helping to foster an understanding of how to ask questions, become an educated voter, and learn how to speak to other citizens in productive ways in order to problem solve. Several of the topics presented in “Assemble” are also featured in “Civics in a Minute,” a series of original digital shorts. These toolkits, videos and other resources are available at

“Election 2020: Arkansas PBS Debates” will be held Oct. 12-14 and include U.S. Congressional District 2, U.S. Congressional District 3, U.S. Congressional District 4 and U.S. Senate. “Election 2020: Ballot Initiatives,” produced in conjunction with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, will premiere Friday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. and repeat Sunday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. Debates will repeat Sunday, Oct. 18, beginning at 1 p.m. Major funding for “Election 2020: Arkansas PBS Debates” is provided by AARP Arkansas. Voter resources and additional information are available at

In October, ArkansasIDEAS, a partnership between the Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas PBS for teacher professional development, will launch the new course “Portraits of Courage: The Story of Women's Suffrage in Arkansas.” This course for Arkansas History professional development tells the tale of men and women from The Natural State who fought for women’s right to vote. Additional tools for educators can be found in Arkansas PBS LearningMedia: The Election Collection at

Arkansas PBS also provides a front row seat to legislative proceedings, board and commission meetings, and other government hearings and activities through AR-CAN, the Arkansas Citizens Access Network, at The website is dedicated to livestreaming Arkansas state government events and meetings and serves as an important educational tool, allowing students to see their government at work while learning about public affairs and civic responsibility. Updates about AR-CAN events, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19 updates, are available by texting ARCAN to (501) 426-5552 or signing up to receive emails at

Arkansas PBS is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).