Sure to be a holiday favorite for the entire family for years to come, this adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas.
On the way, the Thinga-ma-jigger breaks down, and they depend on a variety of animals – from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs – and their remarkable abilities to help them make an amazing journey home.
Repeated at 7:30 am and 2:30 pm Dec. 24.
There’s a miracle on Sesame Street in this special holiday tale. Elmo, Abby Cadabby and their new friend Stiller the Elf (voice of Ben Stiller) are going to count down to Christmas with the Christmas Counter-Downer. But all the counting boxes have gone missing and Christmas may never come again! Can Elmo, Abby and Stiller the Elf save Christmas? With the help of very special guests Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Ty Pennington, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico and Kevin James (as Santa Claus), Elmo and friends learn to believe in Christmas miracles.
Some of Champaign-Urbana’s best actors will offer two presentations this year of Words in the Wind, their concert-style readings of children’s books. The first will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Faith United Methodist Church, 1719 S. Prospect Ave., Champaign. Then the actors will present a more casual, encore performance at the Station Theatre, 223 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Both shows, organized by University of Illinois associate professor of theater Tom Mitchell, will raise funds for Illinois Public Media’s Book Mentor Project. A suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per family will be requested at the door.
“The performances are created for adults, but children might enjoy them as well,” Mitchell said. “It’s a chance for grown-ups to take secret pleasure in enjoying the concise stories and playful language in books that we only get to read when we are kids or parents with kids.” As in past years, he said, the performances will feature surprisingly funny and sometimes profound children’s books performed by excellent actors and musicians.
The second performance this year will give the actors a chance to share the excitement about the Book Mentor Project with a wider audience, he said. “Mostly, we have found that it is fun to perform these books, and we like to work together, so this gives us a second chance to do it,” he said. Performers include Kent Conrad, Gary Ambler, Barbara Evans, Cara Maurizi, Christine Sevec-Johnson, Mindy Manolakes, Cameron Cornell, Angela Marcum, David Butler and Kay Holley. Three volunteers in the Book Mentor Project, Barbara Ridenour, Jessica Holmes and Joe Murphy, will present “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina.
Other performances will include the books "How to Make a Night" by Linda Ashman; “The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree" by Anne Shelby and Cor Hazelaar; and "Cool Daddy Rat" by Kristyn Crow.
Illinois Public Media’s Book Mentor Project recruits and trains volunteers from local businesses, community service organizations and student groups. Book mentors visit Head Start and early childhood classrooms where they read a book and do a related activity with the children. Then each child gets to take home a copy of the book, with about 5,000 books provided to 720 families yearly. The project also reaches children and families through online games and videos, DVDs, mobile apps, classroom math and science kits, and family nights.
Science teacher Emily Dawson and her junior high students at Riverview Grade School in Peoria pushed the boundaries of their classroom to the very edge of the earth’s atmosphere. In an exciting, hands-on learning experience, the students launched their own weather balloon 100,000 feet up to collect weather data, take photos and see their world from an entirely new perspective.
The launch took place Wednesday, May 22, at the Caterpillar Inc. Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center in front of an audience of 300 students from East Peoria, Metamora and Brimfield. Students gathered at 9 a.m. for set-up, assembly and related activities, and the launch took place around 10:50 a.m. Teachers, students and citizens everywhere will be able to witness the morning’s activities, from set-up to loss of visible flight trajectory, through a webcast on the WTVP-Public Media website. Watch a video of the launch.
WTVP in Peoria filmed the launch, and WILL-TV educational outreach director Molly Delaney and TV producer George Hovorka chased and filmed the recovery of the weather balloon. Molly and George looked for the balloon for more than two hours after it landed. A transmitter that was to have helped them find the balloon didn't work. Finally, Dawson discovered the balloon in a field near Princeton, Ill. Molly and George hurried to the location, and shot video and took photos.
"When we learned the GPS wasn't working on the balloon, we weren't going to give up, and kept looking around the projected impact area," said Molly. "Emily saw it off the side of the road on Route 26, and gave us a call." They recovered the shredded balloon, parachute and data collection box.
The launch is the central focus of a multidiscipline unit on weather, using science, language arts, and literature classes cooperatively to plan, research, analyze and report on the real world application of the information taught within the classroom. It was inspired by an activity on the Illinois PBS LearningMedia site for teachers and students.
The school project was made possible through funding from PNC’s FirstGrant to Riverview Junior High teachers Emily Dawson, JoAnn Lowry-Emery and Luann Kuehn. The FirstGrant program is designed to help classroom teachers throughout central Illinois accomplish creative and innovative projects they would otherwise be unable to fund because of budget limitations, and it is supported by the Ruby K. Worner Trust and the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group.
The helium required to fill the balloon was provided by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and arranged by WILL-TV. The launch site and equipment are courtesy of Caterpillar Inc. Production and broadcast made possible by WTVP-Public Media with support from WILL.
PBS KIDS and WILL-TV have a new animated a new animated preschool series, PEG + CAT, that follows the adorable, spirited Peg and her sidekick Cat as they embark on adventures and learn foundational math concepts and skills. The program airs on WILL-TV weekdays at 8 am and 2 pm. It also airs Saturdays and Sundays at 7 am.
Co-creators Billy Aronson (Rent, Postcards from Buster) and Jennifer Oxley (Little Bill, The Wonder Pets!) have teamed with The Fred Rogers Company to bring young viewers a new way to experience math through Peg and Cat’s relatable, and often hilarious, adventures.
Each episode features fascinating stories in which Peg and Cat encounter a problem that requires them to use math and problem solving skills in order to move forward. To learn more, visit pbskids.org/peg.
Researchers have long known the best way to learn is with a personal tutor. But tutoring is expensive. Providing the benefits of tutoring to everyone hasn't been possible. Now, experts say technology creates new ways for schools to customize education for each student. This program documents the rise of so-called "personalized learning." It takes listeners to schools that are reinventing their approach to education, and explores how teaching and learning change when personalization replaces one-size-fits-all in the classroom.