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These are featured stories of how the Upper Delta and Mid-South is combating the Coronavirus as well as resources to help those impacted by the pandemic.

Arkansas PBS offers expanded viewing options for Arkansas AMI, pledges support during school closure


CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS will continue to support at-home learning for the duration of school closures due to COVID-19 and has expanded its viewing options for “Arkansas AMI” – streamlined, curriculum-based programming for the state’s pre-K through 8th grade students – to include livestreaming, new broadcast channels in gap areas and access through mobile apps and OTT devices. The educational programming and classroom materials are produced in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

“Arkansas PBS is dedicated to supporting ADE, educators and students to keep kids learning at home throughout this crisis by providing innovative, high-quality content and solutions,” Arkansas PBS Executive Director Courtney Pledger said.

The current “Arkansas AMI” broadcast model will continue through April 17, and Arkansas PBS will work with ADE to determine next steps as long as kids are out of school due to COVID-19.

“We listened to viewers who are in gap areas of our broadcast coverage and have been working diligently with cable and satellite providers – and the Arkansas Cable Television Association – to establish our Arkansas PBS channel in those areas,” Pledger said. “Additionally, by making the content, including ‘Arkansas AMI,’ accessible across platforms, we’re ensuring that every family has access to our educational programming during this critical time, no matter where they live.”

Expanded Arkansas PBS broadcast coverage includes West Memphis on Comcast/Xfinity cable channel 151 and Texarkana on Sparklight (formerly Cable One) cable channel 17.

Viewers can currently watch “Arkansas AMI” on the following platforms:

  • Daily broadcast on ARPBS-1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 17. Additional information, including content by grade and related resources, is available at myarkansaspbs.org/arkansasami.
  • Livestream at myarkansaspbs.org/arkansasami.
  • On demand by 10 a.m. each day, and archived, at myarkansaspbs.org/arkansasami. These videos will remain available for the entirety of school closures due to COVID-19, and longer as online rights allow.
  • On the free Engage Arkansas PBS app for iPhone and Android.
  • On the PBS Video app on mobile and streaming devices (Apple TV, Roku, etc.).
  • On the Arkansas PBS channel for YouTube TV subscribers.

“Arkansas AMI” features five compelling Arkansas Teachers of the Year hosting segments of each AMI day. The daily schedule beginning weekdays at 8 a.m. is divided into the following programming blocks:

  • 8-9:30 a.m.: Grades Pre-K-2
  • 9:30-11 a.m.: Grades 3-5
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Grades 6-8

Content, which covers a wide variety of topics, is aligned with current state and federal standards so that programming is flexible enough to serve as both supplemental and fundamental, based on the needs of school districts.
ADE sends digital AMI packets, including Spanish language materials and schedules, to each school district, and schools will determine how to distribute these materials to families. Lessons plans can be downloaded by individuals, parents, caretakers and others who want to use these resources at myarkansaspbs.org/arkansasami.

Additionally, PBS is partnering with WORLD Channel on a content block for children in grades 6-12, which will be made available from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday on ARPBS-4 WORLD beginning Monday. Information on how to watch WORLD Channel is available at myarkansaspbs.org/channelinformation.

Anyone needing assistance with the broadcast or finding Arkansas PBS on TV should contact Arkansas PBS at 800-662-2386 or info@myarkansaspbs.org, while anyone needing help with educational instruction should contact the Arkansas PBS education team at 501-682-0317 or AMIhelp@myarkansaspbs.org. Assistance is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other resources offered by Arkansas PBS include:

  • Arkansas PBS KIDS 24/7 channel (ARPBS-3), which supports early learning by broadcasting PBS KIDS programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Free national and local resources through Arkansas PBS LearningMedia.
  • Teacher training and professional development through the ArkansasIDEAS professional development portal, which currently serves 60,000 users throughout the state.
  • An Arkansas PBS LearningMedia resource page, available at ideas.myarkansaspbs.org, to aid teachers and parents in kids’ at-home learning. Users can search for the age range that most accurately applies to their students – ages 3-5, ages 6-11 and ages 12+ – to be connected with resources, educational videos, activities and games.
  • Schoolhouse Daily email messages that offer tips and activities for those with kids home from school. Anyone may sign up at myarkansaspbs.org/engage.

Additional information about the modified broadcast schedule, available online resources and virtual professional development opportunities is available at myarkansaspbs.org.

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 myarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).