In the wake of the devastation from hurricanes Irma and Maria across the U.S. Virgin Islands, local PBS member station WTJX is responding with a creative way to help young children on the islands – many of whom have lost their homes or lack access to educational resources. With support from Sony Electronics Inc., Ematic and PBS, WTJX is providing BRAVIA® 4K smart TVs and playback devices and PBS KIDS Plug & Play HDMI streaming sticks to Head Start Centers and preschools in the territory, offering young children access to PBS KIDS educational content for free. Carson-Dellosa Publishing Group is also contributing classroom resources.
Also, WTJX staff members are visiting local Head Start and preschool classrooms to lead lessons using PBS KIDS Playtime Pads that help children build key early learning skills.
“WTJX is committed to supporting education in the communities we serve, and we are dedicated to meeting local needs – especially for our youngest citizens,” said Tanya-Marie Singh, CEO of WTJX. “As we all recover from the impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria, we know that many children lack access to high quality educational resources. WTJX is proud to help address this need, and we are grateful to Sony, Ematic, Carson-Dellosa and PBS for their support.”
Since Irma and Maria hit the territory, many of the Head Start Centers that serve low-income families across the region have been tasked with accepting more children, while coping with a lack of books, educational materials and activities for them. Through these donations, many of these children will have access to educational content on Sony smart TVs via the PBS KIDS Plug & Play, a TV and playtime streaming stick powered by Ematic that provides a one-stop destination for a variety of PBS KIDS games and videos, accessible with or without Wi-Fi.
Sony’s Professional Solutions Americas group has worked with PBS for decades, providing broadcast and production technology and a range of services designed to support content distribution across PBS and its member stations.
“Sony’s long-standing relationship with PBS is not only limited to products and technology,” said Mike Fasulo, president and CEO of Sony Electronics. “When they asked us to help, we were more than happy to do whatever we could. We always say our technology mission is to help enrich people’s lives, and there’s no better example of carrying out that philosophy than helping children.”
PBS KIDS partnered with Ematic, a leading innovator in children’s educational and entertainment tech products, to bring PBS KIDS Plug & Plays to the Head Start centers.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to help, as that is part of our mission statement as a company,” said Roy Rayn, president of Ematic. “Our hearts and prayers are with the victims of this devastating hurricane.”
PBS KIDS and Carson-Dellosa announced a multi-year licensing partnership earlier this year to create a brand new series of PBS KIDS books and workbooks.
“Our team was heartbroken by the devastation caused by Irma and Maria, and by the impact it had on children, schools and families,” said Al Greco, CEO of Carson-Dellosa. “We were happy to join PBS KIDS in this initiative, and hope our workbooks and classroom resources will help support Head Start programs and the children and community they serve.”