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Tenn. Dept. of Education awards $1 million to PBS stations supporting learning during pandemic

The Tennessee Department of Education partnered with PBS stations across the state to engage families and support learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Six PBS stations across Tennessee will receive awards for supporting education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tennessee Department of Education announced that WPNT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS and Chattanooga WTCI would be awarded $1 million. They partnered with the department to engage families and support education during the pandemic.

“We thank the Tennessee PBS stations for their partnership to ensure students can have daily access to Tennessee teachers and classroom lessons," said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

The department worked with the stations and districts to create an at-home learning series for elementary and middle school students across Tennessee, so they can continue learning while staying at home. They created over 300 instructional video lessons that were aired on the PBS stations.

"COVID-19 put all of us in an unprecedented situation and I'm so grateful that our Tennessee Public Television Stations were ready and willing to serve in this capacity and continue to look for ways to grow that service,” said Becky Magura, President of WCTE.

The $1 million comes from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, through the CARES Act.

The video lessons are also available on the department of education's YouTube channel, and have had more than 100,000 views since the spring, officials said.

New lessons focusing on literacy and math foundational skills for early education students will air on the stations from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. through the end of January, officials said.