GPB Education Launches Community Backpack Project
GPB Education, Georgia’s digital media content provider for the classroom, has launched a multi-faceted outreach and awareness campaign in five communities across the state that promotes access to its high-quality resources and services, including locally produced, Georgia-specific content and digital streaming services across all subjects—at no cost to students and educators.
Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) has teamed up with GPB Education to distribute 3,500 backpacks filled with learning activities, school supplies, and information on how to access GPB Education and PBS Kids content in both English and Spanish to pre-K and kindergarten students.
Georgia Family Connection Collaboratives distributed the backpacks in Bibb, Muscogee, Fannin, and Jackson counties and in the 30318 ZIP code of Atlanta. Neighborhoods were strategically chosen according to their location and socioeconomic data.
“We know all families want to support their child’s learning and development at home but may not necessarily have the tools and resources they need,” said GPB Director of Education Laura Evans. “With the help of our amazing network of community partners, this initiative allows us to put high-quality, research-based learning resources directly into the hands of families who need them most.”
Information in the backpacks includes a new webpage, which serves as a guide to the resources housed on the GPB Education section of the Georgia Public Broadcasting website.
“We’re grateful that we can leverage our statewide network to support GPB in distributing these valuable resources,” said GaFCP Executive Director Gaye Smith. “Because our local Collaboratives engage in community work every day, they’re uniquely positioned to reach the children most in need.”
Macon County Family Connection distributed backpacks to more than 600 children in underserved communities of Macon-Bibb County and included areas that were significantly impacted by the pandemic.
“We also partnered with Communities In Schools of Central Georgia to provide one of the largest pediatrician offices in Middle Georgia with a supply backpacks,” said Nicole Howell, Macon County Family Connection coordinator. “The pediatric office handed them out to families who came in seeking resources for their children and to pick up immunization records for entry into school. This was a creative opportunity to provide the pediatric office with valuable resources to support their patients’ health and wellness, as well as their educational and school readiness.”
In addition to distributing the backpacks, GPB Education is conducting targeted canvassing in under-resourced neighborhoods to let parents and caregivers know about the resources available through GPB Education and encourage them to explore materials appropriate to their children’s grade level.
These efforts are being supported across the state by GPB Education outreach specialists, who help educators and families integrate digital learning into the education of the children in their care through informational sessions, professional development workshops, and ongoing support for educators and schools, as well as libraries, teaching museums, child care centers, and Head Start programs.
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As one of the largest PBS stations in the nation, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB Media), has been creating content worth sharing for more than 60 years. With nine television stations, 19 radio stations, and multi-faceted digital and education divisions, GPB strives to educate, entertain, and enrich its viewers’ and listeners’ lives with programming that includes statewide radio news, current affairs, high-school sports, educational resources for teachers and students, and enlightening programs about our state like Georgia Outdoors, Political Rewind and more.