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Good day our valued WPSU Board members!

First and most importantly, I hope you and your family are well!   As part of the Penn State family, I have adopted a new WE ARE phrase… “We are…Resilient!” I can tell you WPSU has been resilient, striving and thriving during these unprecedented and challenging times!

First, some Board timely housekeeping items:

  1. With current COVID19 restrictions, the Wednesday, November 18th Board meeting will be held via Zoom from 9 a.m. – noon.
  2. As in year’s past due to weather, the Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Board meeting will also be held via Zoom from 9 a.m. – noon.
  3. Wednesday, May 19, 2021 and Wednesday, November 17, 2021 Board meetings will be 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. if in person; otherwise, 9 a.m. – noon if Zoom is our only option.
  4. Tuesday, August 17, 2021 will be an all-day visit/tour and Board meeting at our Pennsylvania PBS sister station, PBS 39 in Allentown, if permitted to travel.

We are hoping to hold in-person meetings if able including our yearly travel visit and wanted to get these dates and times of day on your busy schedules ASAP.

Next, the Executive Committee has heard from several board members who expressed a keen interest in convening a longer conversation/discussion at our November meeting around race relations and our commitment to diversity in terms of programming, community outreach, staff, and board representation.  To that end, we are reaching out to find a facilitator who can help us at the meeting.  More on this to come, but if you have any ideas, feel free to reach out to me and I will forward to Executive Committee.

Isabel and the Executive Committee also expressed interest in filling 2 open spots on the Board in the coming months.  I will circulate the current list under a separate email by week’s end and ask you to look at it and see if there may be any additional names, especially in the areas of diversity and location (Cambria, Mifflin and Huntingdon counties) you may want to put forward for consideration.

Also, in the “any ideas or contacts category”, our Education team is hard at work reaching out to various stakeholders who can help us share our new Learning at Home broadcast schedule and website – complete with DIY activities, additional assets all tied to federal and Pennsylvania standards and easy links to PBS Kids games, videos, teacher’s tools, parenting tips and more.

If you have personal connections any teachers, early childhood educators, school principals, or superintendents, feel free to share our link here:  http://wpsu.psu.edu/learn/

You can also send me their contact information and we will add it to our growing list!  Thanks!

And finally, on this mission-driven note of “sparking discovery, enriching learning and strengthening community through vibrant public media”, we are pleased to announce the following that was released from Governor Wolf’s office last Thursday:

As part of Pennsylvania PBS, WPSU will receive state funds as Governor Wolf Dedicates $15 Million to Connect Students to High-Speed Internet, Remote-Learning  

Governor Tom Wolf announced Thursday, September 10 that his office is dedicating $15 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds for schools to secure broadband, mobile hot spots, and other platforms that increase equitable access to mobile learning.  Pennsylvania PBS, will receive $8 million to establish a statewide datacasting initiative for those students who lack Internet access. Datacasting uses over-the-air TV signals to deliver educational content that can be used on devices without having to access the Internet. Using a datacasting antenna, students can download lesson plans, videos and worksheets from their schools. The Federal CARES Act authorizes governors to determine the educational use of GEER Funds. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our schools to rethink and rework how to provide instruction to students who are learning completely at home or in a hybrid model,” said Gov. Wolf. Read the full news release here.

There are many meetings that are being scheduled around this important funding initiative as you read this, and we should have much more information to share in the coming month (and certainly at November’s Board meeting).   There are hyperlinks built in above to explain in greater detail what “datacasting” is and a link to the entire release FYI.

We will have this information on the Board portal in short order as well.

Thanks, as always, for you continued support, let me know how I can be of service to you.


Carolyn Donaldson

Community Engagement Manager