CLEVELAND — 3News is launching a brand new initiative as of today. We are officially declaring ourselves your "Education Station," meaning that we're bringing together under one umbrella our unique brand of news stories and advocacy for Northeast Ohio schoolchildren.
All of our ongoing coverage of changes with school mask policies and how school districts are navigating remote, in-person and hybrid learning. This will be a big part of our Education Station coverage.
We'll dive into the challenges of educating children effectively as the pandemic continues, sharing important advice on how to help your kids succeed and also what you can do to help schoolchildren across Northeast Ohio thrive.
Proudly, we're bringing back an important community outreach project we introduced in 2020: Dickens Reads, an effort to lift reading scores at Charles Dickens School in Cleveland.
Our station stepped in to help, once we learned that none of the third graders at Dickens were reading at grade level according to the 2019 state report card. With community partners, WKYC employees provided after-school tutoring in reading to Dickens students. We encouraged our viewers to volunteer – and you did!
With a grant from the CLE+ AKR Informed Communities philanthropic project, we organized fun literacy activities every week for the students, including bringing in deejay Edward "Phatty" Banks to help them write a rap about the book they were reading, "The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan."
Our goal was to help Dickens students learn to love reading. To that end, we gave away hundreds of books for them to take home, but the program came to a sudden halt in March of 2020 when COVID closed down the schools.
Throughout the pandemic, we've stayed in touch with Dickens School principal Jocelyn Foster, and she tells us that -- not surprisingly -- her students have suffered a lot of learning loss. They need support more than ever now that they are back in the classroom for in-person learning. During August ,our employees collected two carloads of school supplies for Dickens students, and we intend to do much more.
So, at Foster's request, we are bringing back our tutoring program. During the coming school year, we'll provide regular news reports from Dickens School and show how the staff is weathering the challenge of educating students who have lost out on a year of in-classroom learning, and we'll keep you informed on ways you can help.
At WKYC Studios, education has always been a top community priority. We partner with the LeBron James Family Foundation to support Akron students, for example, and with Coats for Kids to make sure children have warm coats to wear to school in winter. This is what's motivating us to wrap all these education efforts under one banner.
So please watch our Education Station stories, which will air for the entire school year on "GO!" and on our "What's New" show at 5 p.m. We're going to give you compelling, impactful coverage of what’s going on in education, and timely advice on how you can help ensure our students have a successful year. Join us, and let's see what we can accomplish together, as a community!