WCTE Engages Kids and Families through Traditional & Modern Ways

Last Updated by Kate Spears on

Aaron Morris is Senior Manager of Community Engagement Content at PBS KIDS and we're so excited to welcome him as our special guest on the WCTE Get Ready To Learn radio show! 

In Aaron's LinkedIn summary, he describes himself as an arts and media/tech educator with a strong background in providing opportunities for kids of all ages to engage in creative and collaborative activities. We have had the opportunity to work closely with Aaron as part of our Ready To Learn initiative, which also include our PBS KIDS Family Creative Learning workshops.

By engaging families in a dual-generation creative process that uses PBS KIDS ScratchJr, a FREE creative coding app, the workshops serve as hands-on sessions with the great digital tools that are available. PBS KIDS is an incredible resource for families and WCTE is always thrilled to share them with members of our community. Click one of the options below to download this great FREE app to your mobile device. 

[Download ScratchJR - Click for iTunes App Store | Click for Android Google Play Store]

More exciting news from PBS KIDS came recently with the announcement of launch of its first tablet: the Playtime Pad. Produced by Ematic, the 16 GB kids’ tablet provides a one-stop destination for PBS KIDS’ educational content, with more than 25 games and 120 video clips and music videos pre-loaded, along with 100+ hours of video on the PBS KIDS Video App.

Other popular apps such as PBS KIDS ScratchJr and PBS Parents Play and Learn are also included. The Playtime Pad features a front-and-back camera and a Paint Box coloring app that encourages kids to flex their creative skills. The tablet is kidSAFE® Coppa-certified, and includes controls that enable parents to customize the device for each of their children, set limits on screen time using a play timer and manage what kids can access.

“PBS KIDS is continuously looking for new ways to engage children with media that sparks their curiosity and fosters a love of learning, supporting our mission to help all kids reach their potential,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “We know that families lead busy, on-the-go lives, so we are excited to offer our high-quality, innovative content on an affordable tablet that helps kids learn and explore with their favorite PBS KIDS characters, whenever and wherever.”

WCTE believes in the power of media that kids can engage with. Some of the messages we have set out to share in our PBS KIDS ScratchJr coding workshops include: 

  • When you learn to code, you code to learn
  • You can express yourself with new technologies
  • Everybody needs to learn to code, it's not just for math/tech people
  • Coding is easy and fun! 
  • It allows you to take your ideas and share them with the world

This goes beyond just handing your child a mobile device to occupy his/her time. Your child might be savvy with technology, but many of the games and apps out there don't let them to create anything. PBS KIDS ScratchJr puts them in the drivers' seat where they can map and create their own journey. 

As they learn to code, they are opened up to many new opportunities for learning. Much like how reading and writing opens up an entire world of books, and more, coding does the same for kids. What's more, we have witnessed kids having fun with coding and not even realize how much they were learning in the process. When learning feels fun, it is something that you'll want to do for a lifetime.   

Another way that PBS KIDS is making learning fun for young people is with the brand new show Splash and Bubbles, premiering Nov. 23rd. 

From the makers of Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train!, this show features loveable characters Splash, Bubbles and their best friends Dunk and Ripple. These underwater creatures go on epic adventures, discovering marine biology and oceanography as they meet all kinds of “citizens of the sea.” With lots of play, comedy and music, these Reeftown Rangers explore the one big ocean we all share.

There are so many incredible resources available to parents from PBS Parents & PBS KIDS. From info on when to introduce your child to smartphones and tablets, to keeping screentime in check, and so much more! WCTE is proud to be part of this incredible public media family and we're always excited when we can share this great information to keep #UConnected in the Upper Cumberland. 


Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM. 

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Ready To Learn

Ready To Learn

WCTE's Ready to Learn initiative addresses school readiness in the Upper Cumberland

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WCTE Academic Bowl

WCTE Academic Bowl

Taping January 31 & February 7 @ Derryberry hall on TTU's campus

WCTE's Stations of Imagination at Fall FunFest

WCTE's Stations of Imagination at Fall FunFest

Friday, September 11th from 5pm - 9pm Saturday, September 12th from 10am - 9pm on the Cookeville Square

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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

  • Using Media as a learning tool
  • Using PBS kids apps to extend learning
  • How to be your child’s first teacher
  • Sesame Street Workshops
  • How does poverty effect a child’s brain
  • Literacy and Math
  • Brain Development

Workshops can be conducted in English and Spanish.